wec syllabus spring 2008

Course Info

Course Numbers: MAWR 01555, Section 1, 23203
Course Location: Education Hall 2098
Course Hours: H 7:00pm – 9:15pm
Printable Syllabus: wolff-wec-syllabus-s08.pdf

Required Texts | Discussion Leader | Review Essay Books | Office Hours | Contacting Each Other | Students with Disabilities | Attendance and Late Work | Grading

Required Texts

Texts are available at the Rowan Bookstore or at your preferred online bookstore.

Fleck, L. (1981). Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Johnson-Eilola, J. (2005). Datacloud: Toward a new theory of online work. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press.
Kevorkian, M. (2006). Color monitors: The black face of technology in America. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Kress, G. & van Leeuwan, T. (2001). Multimodal discourse: The modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Hodder Arnold.
Landow, G.P. (2006). Hypertext 3.0: Critical theory and new media in an era of globalization. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
McLuhan, M. (2004). Understanding me: Lectures and interviews. Boston: MIT Press.
Neilson, J. & Loranger, H. (2006). Prioritizing Web Usability. Berkeley: New Riders Press.
Syverson, P. (1999). The wealth of reality: An ecology of composition. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
Tufte, E. (2006). The cognitive style of PowerPoint: Pitching out corrupts within (Rev. ed.). Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press. (pamphlet)
Wenger, E. (1999). Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Assorted online readings.

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Discussion Leader

Starting in the second week of the course, each of you will take a week to lead the discussion of the week’s readings. This is important, as the leader constructs a series of five questions for the group to pursue prior to coming to class. We will use those five questions think about the material the evening before class begins (and respond to some of those questions before coming to class). Everyone participates in the discussion surrounding the five questions the leader has raised. I ask that you post your questions to your blog no later than 10:00pm Tuesday night so everyone has a chance to read these questions and think about them (or respond briefly to them if they’d like) before class.

Some of you have participated in similar activities in other classes with mixed results. Let me explain that I ask for some decorum in our conversations. We come to this course with varying levels of expertise and various backgrounds academically. Let us respect all of those positions. No question is stupid if it is related to the readings and all responses should be valid ones. We are to use this element of the course to enrich our understanding of the material.

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Review Essay Book List

Each student will select one text from the following list (each text can only be used by one student). I recommend obtaining these texts via the library and/or Rowan’s EZ Borrow service.

Barthes, R. (1977). Image / Music / Text (S. Heath, Trans.). New York: Hill and Wang.
Barrett, E. & Redmond, M. (Eds.). (1997). Contextual media: Multimedia and interpretation. Boston: MIT Press.
Brown, J.S. & Duguid, P. (2002). The Social Life of Information. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
Campbell, V. (2004). Information Age Journalism. London: Hodder Arnold.
Gee, J.P. (2007). What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy (Rev. ed.) New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hayles, N.K. (2002). Writing Machines. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Jenkins, H. (2006). Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide. New York: NYU Press.
Lanham, R. (1993). The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
McCloud, S. (2000). Reinventing comics: How imagination and technology are revolutionizing an art form. New York: Perennial.
Mitchell, W.J. (2004) ME++ The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. Cambride, MA: MIT Press.
Nardi, B.A. & O’Day, V.L. (2000). Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Spinuzzi, C. (2003). Tracing Genres through Organizations: A Sociocultural Approach to Information Design. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Turchi, P. (2004). Maps of the imagination: The writer as cartographer. San Antonio, TX: Trinity University Press.
Vaidhyanathan, S. (2003). Copyrights and copywrongs: The rise of intellectual property and how it threatens creativity. New York: NYU Press.
van Dijk, J.A.G. (2005). The deepening divide: Inequality in the information society. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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Office Hours

Office hours are designed for you, giving you a more private environment in which we may talk about your work, your performance in class, etc. If you are unable to see me during my office hours, do not hesitate to make an appointment to see me at a different time.

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Contacting Each Other

There will be times during the semester when I will need to contact the class and you will need to contact me. I will contact you via your Rowan email account, so please be sure that you are checking it regularly and/or forwarding it to the email service you use most regularly. I am in my office only during office hours and the brief times before and after class. As a result, calling me in my office will not get you an immediate response.

I strongly suggest you contact me via email, which I check every all day long. Email, however, tends to be seen as an informal medium. This, however, should not always be the case. All emails that I send to you will have a meaningful subject line and a proper salutation (“Hi Class,” or “Hi Jane,” etc.). The first sentence will notify you of the purpose of the email, and then will get to the heart of the matter. It will end with a formal closing (“Thanks, BW”). I expect the same from any email you send. Any email that does not will immediately be deleted and not responded to.

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Students with Disabilities

Your academic success is important. If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work in this class, please contact me. Students must provide documentation of their disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations. The Academic Success Center can be reached at 856.256.4234. The Center is located on the 3rd Floor of Savitz Hall. The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. We look forward to working with you to meet your learning goals.

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Attendance and Late Work

You are expected to be in class. For every absence after 1 absence your final grade will be reduced by a full letter. A student is considered late if they arrive after the sign-up sheet has gone around the room; lateness equals .5 absences. Work handed in late will not be accepted.

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Grades in this course are determined on the basis of a Learning Record, which accompanies a portfolio of work presented both at the midterm and at end of term. These portfolios present a selection of your work, formal and informal, plus ongoing observations about your learning, plus an analysis of your work development across five dimensions of learning: confidence and independence, knowledge and understanding, skills and strategies, use of prior and emerging experience, and reflectiveness. This development centers on the major strands of work:

Students will develop their ability to communicate using a variety of writing spaces. Students will also become familiar with how and when to use which communication space, the discourses associated with each, as well as the impact that each has on a particular audience.

Students will gain greater familiarity with internet research as a means of adding to their own learning, and learn how to conduct a usability study of a large scale web site.

Critical Reading, Thinking, and Writing
Students will develop their ability to read judiciously, think about, and write about texts in a variety of genres and mediums.

Students will learn about and will use contemporary communication technologies in a variety of settings.

Students will develop their ability to work collaboratively in activities that range from online discussion postings to peer reviews to in-class discussion.

Grades correspond to the Graduate Handbook (A-C) for graduate students. All work is expected to be the student’s own. Any plagiarism—intended or not—will result in a failing grade for the course.

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