A new kind of composition

In Electronic Writing and Publishing, we will explore methods of composition common to communities on the web. The Internet, and specifically the interactivity associated with what is called Web 2.0, has augmented how we communicate, and, thus, how we learn. Communication — whether through text, pictures, demonstrations, videos, or some other medium — is at the heart of learning. When our communication changes so, potentially, does our epistemology.

The Web is comprised of millions of composers, and this semester we will explore multiple methods of composing that the Web enables and encourages. Our class will be centered on individual and group projects and reflection. Rather than “teach” you how to write and publish in electronic environments, I propose instead to facilitate activities that allow us to explore collaborative composing for the web.

Our first three weeks of class will be spent discussing collaborative digital culture, practicing writing for context, and selecting our publishing platform. After that, the class will compose, edit, and publish a dynamic media site updated weekly with fresh material. Think of it as a combination of an online magazine, an academic journal, and a YouTube channel. Our choice of platform and method of composition will be chosen collaboratively, and we will work as a media outlet exploring one topic using multiple forms of media and rhetorical perspectives. Our topic will be “Technology, Anxiety, and the Post-Apocalypse”.

Required texts:
Writing Spaces Web Writing Style Guide edited by Barton, Kalmbach, and Lowe
The Walking Dead, Season One by Frank Darabont
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
In Media Res edited by Alisa Perren
Hybrid Pedagogy 
edited by Pete Rorabaugh, Jesse Stommel, and Robin Wharton
Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky