Policy Statement

RHE 312/STS 311: Computers and Writing

Instructor: Jim Brown
Meeting Place: FAC 9
Time: T/Th 11-12:30
Office Hours: T/Th 12:30-2 (Cactus Cafe)
Email: jimbrown@mail.utexas.edu


Course Calendar: http://instructors.cwrl.utexas.edu/jbrown/RHE312_calendar

Required Text
Internet Invention by Greg Ulmer, available at the UT Co-op.

Your work in this course will fall into the following categories:

Class Discussion
While there is no specific requirement to speak during class discussions, I will expect you to be engaged in class discussion. I recognize that people participate in discussions in different ways, but I will ask that you be "with us" as we work through some of the difficult material in this class. Please be attentive.

Using a wiki, you will be creating something called a Mystory. The details of this project will unfold as we move through the semester and as we read through Greg Ulmer's book, Internet Invention. An important part of this assignment is not actually knowing what the end product will look like. This may make for some frustrating moments, but our hope is that this frustration is productive.

Internet Invention Assignments
Our textbook lays out assignments that will help you create your Mystory. Some of these assignments will be completed for homework and others will be in-class assignments. These assignments will be included in the wiki that you create, and they should provide you with fodder for your Mystory.

Our textbook will be difficult reading at times. Ulmer will start to talk over our heads at certain points, but we'll have to hang with him through these moments. To ensure that you are keeping up with our reading, there will be short quizzes at the beginning of each class.

Learning Record
Grades in this class will be determined by the Learning Record Online (LRO). The LRO will require you to observe your own learning and construct an argument for your grade based on evidence that you accumulate throughout the semester. You will record weekly observations and you will synthesize your work into an argument for your grade. You will construct this argument twice - once at the midterm and once at the end of the course. We will be discussing the LRO at length during the first week of class. See below for more details.

Success in this class will require regular attendance.
I will take attendance at each class meeting. If you miss three classes, I will file an Absence/Failure report with the University. This report will be emailed to you and will serve as a warning. If you miss 5 classes, your grade for this class will be an F.

If you are more than 5 minutes late for class, you will be considered absent. If there is something keeping you from getting to class on time (i.e., you have a long trek across campus right before our class), please let me know during the first week of class.

Grades in this course will be determined by use of the Learning Record Online (LRO), a system which requires students to compile a portfolio of work at the midterm and at the end of the semester. These portfolios present a selection of your work, both formal and informal, plus ongoing observations about your learning, plus an analysis of your work development in terms of the five dimensions of learning and the goals for this course.

The dimensions of learning have been developed by teachers and researchers, and they represent what learners experience in most any learning situation:

1) Confidence and independence
2) Knowledge and understanding
3) Skills and strategies
4) Use of prior and emerging experience
5) Reflectiveness

In addition to analyzing your work in terms of these dimensions of learning, your argument will also consider the specific goals for this course. These goals are called Course Strands:

1) Risk-taking
2) Developing inventio processes
3) Developing revision processes
4) Multimedia Writing

The course website provides detailed descriptions of the Course Strands and the Dimensions of Learning.

Your work in class (and in other classes during this semester) along with the observations you record throughout the semester will help you build an argument in terms of the dimensions of learning and the course strands. We will discuss the LRO in detail at the beginning of the semester, and we will have various conversations about compiling the LRO as the semester progresses.

Late Assignments
Due dates for Assignments and Mystory pages are posted on the course calendar. While I will not be grading each of the pages you create in your Mystory (grades will be determined by the LRO), I will be providing comments and feedback. I will not provide feedback on late assignments. Also, late assignments will be factored into your argument in the LRO (see the grade criteria for more details).

Intellectual Property
Much of what we'll be working on this semester involves the appropriation of existing texts. This is no different than any other type of writing - all writing involves appropriation. The key will be to make new meaning with the texts that you appropriate. Copying and pasting existing texts without attribution does not make new meaning. Your Mystory will make use of different materials (text, video, audio, image), and you will have to be mindful of intellectual property issues as you create texts for this class. Please refer to the University's Scholastic Dishonesty policy for details about how UT deals with plagiarism.

In addition to being mindful of the information that you appropriate, you should also be mindful of how you'd like others to appropriate your texts. We will be publishing our work under creative commons licenses, and this will give you an opportunity to think about how you'd like others to make use of your work.

Technology Policy
We will use technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use the keyboard and mouse, and how to use the web and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help. If you are familiar with the technology we are using please lend a helping hand to your classmates.

Course Website and Email
You should check your email daily. Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website will also have important information about assignments and policies. Pay close attention to the course calendar as we move through the semester - I reserve the right to move things around if necessary.

Computer Use and Availability
Computers are available to you in the CWRL open lab (PAR 102), the Student Microcomputer Facility (SMF) on the second floor of the Flawn Academic Center (FAC).

Students With Disabilities
Please let me know of any disability that might require my assistance. The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic adjustments for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TDD.

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