Today’s Multimodal Assignments and Assessment Workshop, Notes and Resources

Today’s workshop has a reading component: Cynthia L. Selfe’s “Toward New Media Texts,” which is available here for a limited time, and my notes for this discussion are available here. Also, Derek Van Ittersum and I have a set of notes on Assessing Multimodal Student Work available here. Please print out Selfe’s article and bring it to the workshop today in Satterfield Hall 104 at 1:00PM. I will have copies of my notes and

Below, I have included a number of resources that you can use to teach yourself and your students the basics of creating multimodal compositions. There are links to tutorials on the basics of using different media effectively and how to use those media’s composition technologies.

General Resources

Student Multimedia Studio Tutorials for English Composition Courses [KSU Library]

Student Multimedia Studio Tutorials–first class resource for getting started and teaching students how to use technology [KSU Library]

Online Writing

What Makes for Good Web Design [youtube]

How to Upload Web Pages to Kent State Student Personal Webspace [KSU Library]

HTML Tutorial 1 – Building a Website in Notepad [youtube]

How to Make/Design a Website with Dreamweaver [youtube]

How to Use [youtube]

How to Create a Blog on Blogger [youtube]


Don McMillan: Life After Death by Powerpoint [youtube]

Powerpoint 2010 Basic Tutorial [youtube]

Pecha Kucha: Get to the Powerpoint in 20 Slides [youtube]


Katie Couric on How to Conduct a Good Interview [youtube]

How to Record an Oral History Interview [youtube]

Audacity Tutorial: Part 1 [youtube]


Film School: Basic Framing Types [youtube]

Shoot Your Friends – Filming Basics [youtube]

Learn iMovie 11 by Ken [youtube]

Getting Started Tutorial – Windows Live Movie Maker [youtube]

Blogging Workshop Wrap-up

The folks who showed up to the Blogging in the Classroom and Profession Workshop and I had a good conversation, but I hope to gather a larger audience at the next workshop, particularly of new graduate assistances in the department. I had planned the events around the time when no graduate students were taking class–it would have been nearly impossible to also account for when they were teaching class, too.

I have already made my notes available online, but I will add some video from the workshop to YouTube and link it here, soon. Also, if there is enough interest, I can try to hold another set of workshops on a TTh time slot in November.

Stay tuned!

Reminder: Blogging in the Classroom and the Profession Workshop, Wed Oct 11, 1-2:00PM, SFH 104

A friendly reminder for my friends in the Kent State English Department: I will lead the first of two planned Office of Digital Composition Workshops tomorrow afternoon, Wednesday October 11 from 1:00-2:00PM in Satterfield Hall Room 104. The topic of the workshop is Blogging in the Classroom and the Profession. I will post workshop notes on before the workshop tomorrow. See you there!

Digital Composition Workshops Begin Next Wednesday, Oct 12

The first Kent State English department digital composition workshop for Fall 2011 will be held next Wednesday, October 12 from 1:00-2:00pm in Satterfield Hall 104. I will lead a discussion on “Blogging in the Classroom and Profession.” Bring your questions and your blogs. I hope to see my fellow Kent Staters there!


Online Guide to Accompany Using the Vista8 Course Management System Workshop

Today, I am facilitating a session on the Vista8 course management system at Kent State University for the Department of English at the Pre-Semester Workshop. I prepared a Guide to Vista8 [currently hosted on Google Docs, , which covers many of the topics that I will discuss during the first part of the session. Also, I hope that it helps instructors after the session is over when they are setting up the online components of their writing classes.

If you have trouble viewing the Guide to Vista8 online, you can download it as a PDF from here.

Find more information and resources on the Office of Digital Composition’s website here. I will be working there in Fall 2011.

Many thanks to the participants in my workshop today.

CFP reminder Feb 15 deadline – Masculinities Between the National and the Transnational 1980-Present

Kevin Floyd, who administered my 20th century American literature exam and is on my dissertation committee, is co-organizing a series of international workshops on masculinities in Britain and the US. The deadline for the CFP is soon: February 15. Read below for all the details.

Call for Papers – Feb 15 deadline

Between the National and the Transnational, 1980 to the Present: Masculinities in Britain and the U.S.

The Second of Three International Workshops:

Kent State University, August 4-7, 2011

Recent scholarship in the study of masculinities suggests any number of ways in which this field has begun to move beyond the cataloging of pluralized masculinities that has characterized so much scholarship on this topic. The organizers of this workshop believe that masculinities should be examined at a number of different analytic levels, ranging from the most location-oriented and culturally specific, to the national, to the transnational.

In this context, this workshop will focus on the articulation of masculinities over the last three decades in Britain and the U.S. It especially wants to encourage scholarly and critical movement in a direction that both builds on recent work in the field of masculinity studies and moves beyond it, toward more comparative kinds of analysis. What lines of interchange and influence in the cultural and literary imagining of masculinity can be traced between Britain and the U.S. during the last thirty years? How do recent articulations of masculinity reimagine established understandings of gender? How should we understand the ways in which relations between hegemonic and counterhegemonic masculinities operate both similarly and differently in these two locations? And how to understand the ways in which masculinity operates in relation to key issues mapped out by recent scholarship, from transgender, intersex, and disability studies, to research on space, geography, migration, neoliberalism, biopolitics, and warfare?

We seek innovative scholarship on masculinities in Britain and the U.S. from roughly 1980 to the present. We especially encourage comparative work, analyses that operate in simultaneously national and transnational terms.

Please e-mail an abstract of no more than 500 words, along with a c.v., to both Kevin Floyd ( and Stefan Horlacher ( The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2011. Please direct inquiries to Kevin Floyd.

This conference is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Kent State University. Partial subsidies for participants will be available.

via CFP reminder Feb 15 deadline – Masculinities Between the National and the Transnational 1980-Present.

Path to Professionalization: Finding My Ratio of Publication to Service

This past Friday, Tammy Clewell hosted the second Job Placement Workshop for this school year. The topic for the workshop was how to build a kick ass curriculum vitae.

I have been working on my C.V. since I was an undergraduate at Georgia Tech and I began applying to graduate schools. Like the characters in The Guild, I thought of the C.V. as a record of my achievements and development as a professional scholar. I thought about what I needed to do to get the kind of research-1 position that I wanted after completing my PhD. I knew that I needed publications, which meant that I needed to do more reading, research, and writing. While at Liverpool, I began writing reviews for SFRA Review with this goal in mind. I considered reviewing a kind of intellectual exercise that would yield benefits in the more important refereed publications in journals and books. Also, reviewing would show search committees that I regularly kept up with the field by reading and seeing things that were on the cutting edge.

I also knew that I needed to do some conferencing, so I did a lot of that. I have prepared papers and participated on roundtable discussions at SFRA, ICFA, SLSA, and others. Again, writing essays to present at conferences improves your argumentation and keeps you knee deep in research. These are good things, and I duly noted on my C.V.

Since returning to academia in 2002, even before I had decided on my current career path, I began offering my labor and expertise in service positions. The most important of these landed on my C.V. in the proper place, but it was at the job placement workshop that I began to question how much time I had invested in service roles including those that didn’t make the C.V. cut.

One of the recommendations that I received at the workshop had to do with organizing the service category of my C.V., and in particular, one of the commenters said that I had done a lot of service. Additionally, I was warned against presenting myself as the kind of person who does all of the grunt work. By moving things around, I believe that I can streamline my C.V. in this regard, but this comment made me pause to think about how much work I have done for others at the cost of working on things that I really need to focus on right now: publications and dissertation.

What I come to realize is that there are some really important service things that I do want to pursue: namely, Vice President of the SFRA. I feel that I can do something good for the organization while also giving me the experience of helping run an international academic organization (so, please vote Ellis!).

There are other things that are rewarding, but they take a lot of time away from the writing that I need to focus on as I finish my PhD. I will have to transition out of these commitments in the future, so that I can devote that time to getting another publication sent out and more pages of my dissertation completed.

The lesson to take away from this is to remember to make a ratio of publications, conferencing, and service that fit your goals and personal development. It is okay to say ‘no’ if you don’t have the time to do something, but it is also okay to say ‘yes’ when you have the time to help. Service to others can be a rewarding, enjoyable, and challenging opportunity, but you have to make sure that you take care of yourself before committing to it.

2009 KSU Writing Program’s Pre-Semester Workshop

Today, KSU’s Writing Program sponsored the 2009 annual pre-semester workshop for all writing instructors. This year it was held the Monday prior to classes, as opposed to the Friday before classes, which I believe works out much better for instructors including myself who take something from the workshop and incorporate it into our syllabi.

There were two break-out sessions–one in the morning, and one in the afternoon–with a number of interesting and practical modules. I decided to sit in on Uma Krishnan’s “Multimodal Projects and Ideas” and Eric Smith’s “Using Chat Rooms and Bulletin Boards.”

Uma made the point that we should not hold our students back when they are evidently capable of doing much good work, which was evident by the array of multimodal projects strewn around the classroom. There were videos, posters, a necklace, and even a dress–all created to emphasize or elaborate on the research and writing component of each of those particular student projects in her 11011 and 21011 classes. Despite some technical difficulties in the classroom, Uma gave us a very well thought 0ut presentation, but I believe that I am only going to take multimodality so far in my own classes. This has nothing to do with Uma’s presentation, but my own concerns about multimodality in the entry-level writing classroom.

Eric’s presentation, also beset by technical difficulties and indicative of the problems inherent to using computers in the classroom with folks who are not computer savvy, was a top notch introduction to the chat and discussion board possibilities with the classroom software, Vista 8. Based on what I learned from Eric today, I will switch my classes over to Vista this Fall so that the classroom will be completely paperless from syllabi to daily assignments to portfolio projects. I believe that this shift will allow my students to do more work in the classroom with daily prompts that build up to their larger assignments, and it will allow me to more efficiently read and respond to their work (in the past I have relied on paper in my first semester teaching, and email in the my second semester teaching). Additionally, a paperless classroom will save some trees and hopefully prevent or reduce the likelihood of getting sick by handling so many students’ papers. This is nothing against my students–I don’t think you are any more ill than any other group of persons in the population, but there are many of you who come in contact with a lot of other folks and you then hand me papers in effect handled by you and potentially a lot of other folks–but I want to remain healthy throughout the semester.

One thing that I do enjoy about the annual writing workshop is that it is the one time each year when adjuncts, LSRP grad students, and literature grad students are all in the same place at the same time. As much as I unreservedly want greater solidarity among the literature graduate students at Kent State, I also feel that there should be more cooperation and interaction between the groups on both sides of the aisle–rhetoric on one side, and literature on the other. What can we do to facilitate more coming together like this, and even better, how can we work towards more professionalization through research and publication involving members of both pools of graduate students?

And, this is Brian Huot’s final year as KSU’s Writing Program coordinator. Brian helped me out a lot in the 61094 teaching college writing course, and as my mentor when I first began teaching college writing at KSU. I haven’t been at KSU long enough to see the metamorphosis of the KSU writing program under his direction, but I can certainly see that things are electric at this point when his term is ending.

Unfortunately, I didn’t win any of the door prizes, but the new utopian studies guy, Alex, won something, and Seth got a sweet daily planner. John walked away with the grand prize. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year!