Future Ideas & Goals

 In the future, and hopefully next quarter, I would like to implement or explore the following intertextual/multi-modal teaching approaches:

·   Audio feedback.  I would like to offer feedback using audio recordings.  I believe this to be 1) more time-efficient for me; 2) as a result, more helpful for the students because it will offer them a greater amount of feedback; 3) more natural and personal, as a voice recording might best reflect my personal preferences and therefore help the student to understand more clearly my particular biases or approaches to their writing; and 4) more active learning on the student’s part because they will need to transcribe my feedback on their own.

·   Organizational collages.  I would like to ask students to use technology to illustrate the “points” or rather, the organizational sequence of their paper.  I inherit this idea from Madeleine Sorapure’s use of “new media” forms, where students are asked to present an idea through visual, audio, and/or text.  This will differ from my approach this quarter, where I asked students to create a collage of the “voices” from nine articles on recycling and BPA.  Here, I will ask students to perform the task for their own writing so that their playfulness with intertextual will (hopefully!) inspire unique paper formats and more circulation-driven writing (rather than teacher-evaluation-driven writing!).

·   Discourse Communities.  For the proposal essay, students will need to actually contact a community group beyond the classroom and write for them.  This idea adheres to Matthew Heard’s understanding of postprocess theory, which acts as a kind of practical application of Elbow’s concern that academic discourse limits our students and the circulation of their texts.

·   Sexual literacies.  I’m not sure if this will fit into my next quarter of 102, but I do hope to explore classroom applications of Jonathan Alexander’s idea of “sexual literacies,” as discussed in his book Literacy, Sexuality, Pedagogy:  Theory and Practice for Composition Studies.  Here, he notes that gender and sexuality are too little discussed in the composition classroom.  While I’ve only read the first two chapters of his book, an exploration of the third chapter (wherein he examines writings by students, about sexuality, power, and heteronormativity) will better inform my approaches at implementing queer theory within the freshman comp classroom.  I know too little now!

·   Freshman Writing Magazine.  In “Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking,” Elbow suggests that student writing gains importance when published as part of a collection of texts written by freshman.  I believe so strongly in his claim.  I want my students to feel that what they write is important.  The more I teach and reflect on pedagogy, the more I this as my bias, my catalyst!  I’m especially interested in creating a magazine of freshman writing for and by freshman students.  In fact, I would consider shaping a 102 course around the publication of such a journal, where students made a “call for papers” to previous 102 students and then evaluated the submissions for publication in a journal that, at the end of the quarter, would include not only the texts they selected, but also the texts they created anew from similar assignment prompts!  This is so exciting to me!  I could see it benefiting the students in many ways:  1) students would feel they had an important voice in deciding the “nature” of good writing (or rather, writing appropriate in tone and function for this specific publication); 2) students would read many, many examples of assignment prompts before creating their own, offering more opportunity for extended learning and assignment clarification; and 3) student writing would have purpose beyond the two eyes of the teacher (indeed, it would be circulated among peers, parents, professors, and the Cincinnati—or wider—community.  Such an approach is a direct, application-driven response to Elbow’s concern that “academic discourse” causes students to feel alienated and stripped of authority.

About taylo206

I am an Assistant Professor of Composition, Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
This entry was posted in Teaching Approaches, Writing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

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