Instructor: Jim Brown
Meeting Place: FAC 9
Time: T/Th 11-12:30
Office Hours: Monday/Tuesday 12:30-2:00pm at Cafe Medici, or by appointment
Email: jimbrown [at] mail [dot] utexas [dot] edu
Internet Invention by Greg Ulmer, available at the UT Co-op or Amazon
Your work in this course will fall into the following categories:
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 Wide Site. 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 Wide Site. 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 Wide Site.
Our textbook will be difficult reading at times. Ulmer's discussions are complicated, and you are not expected to understand what he's saying on your first pass through the text. Nonetheless, I will expect that you do the readings. To ensure that you are keeping up with our reading, there will be forum discussions on the course web site. I will post questions, and I will also be providing some thoughts about what to look for in your reading. I would suggest reading my forum post prior to completing the reading assignment.
The forum discussions are designed to help you work through the reading. The forum will allow you to ask questions and offer your thoughts about the text. Each time you participate in the forum discussions, you will be required to post two responses. You will respond to the questions/comments that I've posted and you will respond to at least one of the questions/comments posted by your classmates. Your participation in these forum discussions is mandatory, and you will have to provide evidence of your participation in these discussions when you present your work at the midterm and the final.
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 about your learning process using a web service called Twitter 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 arrive after I've taken attendance, you will be considered late. One instance of lateness counts for 0.5 absences. 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 early on in the semester.
Cell Phones and Laptops
Please turn off or silence cell phones when you enter the classroom. You are welcome to use laptops during class if you are using them to participate in what we're doing (for instance, Googling terms or concepts that we're discussing).
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
In addition to analyzing your work in terms of these dimensions of learning, the argument you make for your grade will also consider the specific goals for this course. These goals are called Course Strands, and there are four of them:
2) Developing inventio processes
3) Developing revision processes
4) Multimedia Writing
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.
The grade criteria for the LRO are as follows:
Represents outstanding participation in all course activities, perfect or near perfect attendance, and all assigned work completed on time. Also represents very high quality in all work produced for the course. LRO provides evidence of significant development across the five dimensions of learning. The Learning Record at this level demonstrates activity that goes significantly beyond the required course work in one or more course strands.
Represents excellent participation in all course activities, near perfect attendance, and all assigned work completed on time. Also represents consistently high quality in course work. Evidence of marked development across the five dimensions of learning.
Represents good participation in all course activities, minimal absences, and all assigned work completed. Also represents generally good quality overall in course work. Evidence of some development across the five dimensions of learning.
Represents uneven participation in course activities, uneven attendance, and some gaps in assigned work completed. Represents inconsistent quality in course work. Evidence of development across the five dimensions of learning is partial or unclear.
Represents minimal participation in course activities, poor attendance, serious gaps in assigned work completed, or very low quality in course work. Evidence of development is not available.
Work for the course is incomplete and the instructor will allow the student additional time to complete it. The amount of time allowed is at the discretion of the instructor.
Due dates for Assignments and wiki pages are posted on the course calendar. While I will not be grading each of the pages you create in your Wide Site (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).
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. But there is a difference between appropriation and plagiarism. 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 Wide Site 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. You have the option of publishing your work under a creative commons license, a license that gives you an opportunity to think about how you'd like others to make use of your work.
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.
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.