Video Blogs, Darkroom Snobs, & Digital Logs: Multimodal Approaches to Technoliteracy In(ter)ventions in Developmental Writing
This panel will be a presentation based on multimodal pedagogy and its place in developmental writing courses concerning connections between student learning processes and activities that offer critical engagement with technology. The first part will discuss video blogs and the generative process for students and how this visual production medium aids students in creating and associating rhetorical connections within the basic writing classroom and the outside world. The second part will combine frameworks provided by Ball (2013) and Alexander (2007) concerning the evaluation of multimodal compositions with a Mystery Science Theater 3000 approach to feedback to look at how developmental writing students achieve a sense of rhetorical awareness and agency as they increase their technoliteracy. The last part of the presentation will focus on the final product as a multimedia digital weebly page where developmental writers become active participants in their own technoliteracy development as they create (draft and revise) digital identities through their use of theme, layout, and overall presentation.
Writers who test into developmental writing courses are often perceived as being less technologically literate than those students who start in first year composition (Jonaitis 2012; Stine 2010). These students require technoliteracy in(ter)ventions to prepare them for the writing that they will be expected to complete after and outside of the developmental writing course. This panel will explore the impact that multimodal/multimedia composition has on increasing developmental writing students’ technoliteracy and decreasing the “digital divide” faced by basic writers (Klages and Clark 2009) by presenting students with activities that offer critical engagement with technology.
The first presentation considers how developmental writing students prepare and develop video blog posts as a process-based practice in multimodal composition. As Booth and Spina-Caaza (2012) note, the accessibility and adaptive nature of video communication is a natural approach for composition students who've spent their lives in front of and interacting with a screen. While developmental writing courses tend to only utilize computer mediated resources as an "add-on" (Moran 2003; Jonaitis 2012; Stine 2010) if at all, the use of video created content in basic writing pedagogy allows students to discuss their rhetorical awareness of the composition process and gain an understanding of generative stage of composition process. By raising awareness of the process of video composition and the genre elements it produces, students can connect it to the pre-writing processes we use in composition while exploring the merits of the final product in a manner that developmental writers in the digital age are more familiar with.
Scholarship on the peer review process of multimodal/multimedia projects is scarce, especially as peer review relates specifically to these types of projects undertaken in developmental writing courses; however, by combining frameworks provided by Ball (2013) and Alexander (2007) concerning the evaluation of multimodal mash-up compositions with a Mystery Science Theater 3000 approach to feedback, the second presentation will look at how developmental writing students achieve a sense of rhetorical awareness that articulates the manner in which the choices they make as they manipulate technology and further increase their technoliteracy (in the roles of the reviewer and revisor of a multimedia project) while developing rhetorical agency through the anonymity offered in a dark screening room with a disembodied voice.
Students often have trouble envisioning audiences beyond the teacher when they write traditional print essays (Alexander, Powell, and Green 2007). The final presentation will look at the use of weebly as a means to publish multimodal digital texts and how that allows basic writers to envision audiences outside the classroom. As they build their weebly pages and publish their work online, developmental writers become active participants in technoliteracy development as they create (draft and revise) digital identities through their use of theme, layout, and overall presentation. In addition, they increase their technoliteracy as multimodal composition increases the range of possibilities for communication, meaning students must consider how the (potential) audience will respond to their digital portfolios/websites. This, as Klages and Clark (2009) have noted, it is especially important that we teach basic writers these skills, so they can become proficient authors in our ever-increasing digital world.