In English 282, we will explore how multiple modes—linguistic, visual, aural, gestural, and spatial—allow us to compose about and for selected communities. The course design and topic accommodate a broad range of disciplinary approaches to community and multimodality. We will analyze elements of effective multimodal work, discuss the affordances of discrete modes, and produce our own multimodal texts, both individually and in groups. Research informs course projects, broadening student’s understanding of community histories and needs. Your work will thus integrate data and assets gleaned from books, census reports, newspapers, photographs, podcasts, videos, maps, web sites and interviews.
While students will use online platforms, software and hardware to complete coursework, technical savvy is not a course prerequisite. Students will receive instruction in all technical tools used in the classroom. Although 282 has no formal prerequisite, it is an intermediate composition course, and instructors expect entering students to know how to formulate claims, integrate evidence, demonstrate awareness of audience, and structure coherent sentences, paragraphs and essays.
Goals and Methodology
Students in the course work toward several goals:
- Critically engaging in rhetorical and design analysis of multimodal texts produced for specific audiences and purposes;
- Producing complex multimodal work that demonstrates awareness of audience, context, and stakes; engages specific genre conventions; incorporates appropriate evidence; and strategically combines selected modes;
- Locating, evaluating, and ethically using research sources and multimodal assets;
- Collaborating with other stakeholders (peers, the instructor, UW librarians) to create, critique, and revise multimodal texts;
- Gaining facility with hardware, software, online platforms, and other tools used to produce multimodal content; and
- Reflecting on learning and drawing connections between coursework and out-of-class interests, communities, life goals, and career plans.
Course activities promote active learning, incorporating a blend of small-group activities, discussion, hands-on technical skills practice, studio time, and mini-lecture. The course design reflects a process approach to composition, with students building large projects via a series of short assignments. My role is to provide the tools and resources you will need to advance your own thinking and composing. I will pose questions, design activities to help you generate ideas, and provide feedback on your work. Your role is to do the hard work. You will analyze texts, produce multimodal projects, critically respond to others’ work, and revise your own work multiple times.