wrt fall 2014 social media assignment: blogging

Assignment Overview

This semester we will be creating a collaborative blog using WordPress dedicated to the visual rhetoric and multi-modal composition-related issues that we discuss and read about in class. The blog will be shared by students in sections 2 and 3 of WRT. The goal of the blog will be to present informed, insightful, curious, authoritative, and in-depth multi-modal posts on these issues, much as former students have done here at Rowan at Let’s Get Visual, Visual!, Textual Arousal, Raiders of the Lost Architecture, Rummage This, and Don’t Worry, Be Mappy, and students at the University of Texas at Austin have done with Viz.

It is assumed that you are familiar with blogging because it is assumed that you have taken or are enrolled in Introduction to Writing Arts. If you are not familiar with blogging, please see “What is a Blog?” by Jill Walker-Rettberg, which is available on the Readings page.

Assignment Specifics

Starting Week 3 and over 10 weeks during the semester, two or more students per week will serve as the blog’s Weekly Blogger.

Each weekly blogger will compose TWO blog posts each:

  • 1 post that discusses, challenges, problematizes a reading from that week in depth (due by Tuesday of that week)
  • 1 post that is informed by a tweets from the #wrtuesday portion of the Twitter assignment (due by Thursday of that week)
    • in your post, be sure to embed the tweet and contextualize your discussion

The posts should be posted during the week before or just after the Tuesday class meeting for that week. Your posts should have alphabetic and visual texts and should be at least 750 words long. They should include links to various related places. They should be written with the tone of someone thoroughly engaged in the subject-matter and is learning more about it. All posts should have at least 5 meaningful tags and be located into at least 1 of the following categories: semiotics, photography, remix, mashup, social media, and comics (or any other that you think appropriate).

(Update 9/8/14) Posts will need to be informed, insightful, curious, authoritative, and in-depth, and very well written. Quote from and reference the readings. But, write for a global audience who may not know anything about the course (because anyone anywhere in the world will be able to see your post). They do not need to be wholly serious; one of the great things about blog posts is that they can include funny material, like video and meme images, that help a more serious point.

Each post will need to have features that are important to blogs and blog readers: links whenever having one would make a meaningful connection, images, video, tags, categories, and so on. Write with the tone of exploration but with the confidence of an expert, not just a student learning something new in class. Rather, a writer thinking through new ideas on important subjects. For an example of the kind post I’m looking for, see: Participatory Learning and the Death of the Lectern, Blurring Lines: Understanding Extratexual Discourse within Fandom, and What Would Batman Buy for Christmas?

When determining if you can use an image in your post, use the following flow chart (see a larger version):

The goal of these posts is to start discussions with your classmates and outside readers outside of class about the course topics. As such, try to write them in a way that encourages open discussion. Consider them important essays for the course. They will be assessed in terms of how well they start discussion, how well the ideas from the course texts are incorporated (yes, quote and paraphrase), how well they incorporate multimedia (images, videos, and so on), and how well they show you thinking critically about the issues you discuss.

During the weeks when students are NOT the Weekly Blogger, they are required to:

  • reply to 2 posts in a way that pushes the conversation forward and makes reference to the class readings or things discussed in class
  • each reply should be at least 100 words long

See the course schedule for who the blogger is for each week.

WordPress has a very good Support page, and I encourage you to spend some time with it, especially the sections for Getting Started, Creating Content, Manage My Profile, and Customize My Site. Please check these areas before emailing BW with questions.

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