Professor: Jim Brown
Synchronous Meetings: Wednesday, 9:30am-10:30am
Meeting Place: Zoom (via Canvas)

Prof. Brown's Office: Zoom (Jim's "personal meeting room" on Canvas)
Prof. Brown' Office Hours: Wednesday, 10:30-11:30, or by appointment
Prof. Brown's Email: jim[dot]brown[at]rutgers[dot]edu

Course Website:

A typical week...
With some exceptions, a typical week in this course will look like this:

Monday: Prof. Brown posts a short video to Canvas about our topic for the week
Tuesday: Students read and annotate using Hypothesis by 5:00pm (also posted on Canvas)
Wednesday: We meet via Zoom 9:30am-10:30am to discuss the readings and assignments

Beyond this schedule, you will also have assignments due throughout the semester (see our course schedule on this page) and you will also be sharing content and interacting on Mastodon, which is kind of like Twitter but is a small social networking site designed just for our class. Mastodon interactions will happen throughout the week, and you decide when to post there and respond to your classmates' posts.

Course Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  • Execute and reflect on a writing and design process
    In this class, we'll be doing traditional writing assignments while also designing new media objects. While both writing and design result in products, it is important to realize that writing and design are processes. We will draft, experiment, and tinker during these processes, and we will attempt to learn what process works best for us. Throughout our work in this class, you should consider how your writing and design processes are changing, and how you are developing practices that work best for you as a thinker, writer, and designer.
  • Use digital media tools to make arguments and tell stories
    This class will focus on how we can take advantage of the affordances of a media environment to make arguments and tell stories. The tool shapes the writing, and each time we take up a writing task in this class, we'll think carefully about the best tool for the job.
  • Collaborate and provide feedback to others
    We will be collaborating throughout this class. One of our goals will be to develop skills and strategies for working with others. This means understanding the dynamics of a team and taking on various roles depending on the situation.
  • Critically read and analyze arguments
    We will be reading the work of various scholars , and this reading will call for careful and critical reading. This means paying close attention to how the argument is constructed, considering what kinds of evidence the author is using, theorizing who might be the target audience of the text, developing questions about the implications of the author's argument, and demonstrating the ability to clearly and concisely summarize the text.

Required Texts
All required texts will be shared on Canvas and/or the course website.

Course Work and Grades
Grades will be determined based on the following course work:

  • Code of Conduct (10%)
  • Hypothesis Annotations (15%)
  • Mastodon Posts (15%)
  • Mastodon Reports (10%)
  • Twine Project (25%)
  • Digital Writing in Johnson Park (25%)

Grades will be assigned on the following scale:

A 90-100
B+ 88-89
B 80-86
C+ 78-79
C 70-77
D 60-69
F 59 and below

Content Warnings
If we will be reading and discussing material that addresses sensitive topics, I will do my best to let you know in advance. If there are certain specific topics you would like me to provide warnings about, please let me know. I will do my best to flag content based on your requests.

We will meet once per week for one hour - on Wednesdays at 9:30am. If attendance at these meetings will be a problem, please let me know. During meetings, we will discuss readings and assignments, and some class meetings will be devoted to peer review sessions.

Technology Policy
We will use digital technology frequently in this class. Although I am assuming that you have some basic knowledge of computers, such as how to use a keyboard and mouse, and how to use the Web and check e-mail, most things will be explained in class. You will not have to download any software, but we will be using platforms other than Canvas throughout the course. If you don’t understand what we are doing, please ask for help.

Canvas, Mastodon, Course Website, and Email
You should check your email daily, and you should regularly check our Mastodon page (a social media space built just for our class). Class announcements and assignments may be distributed through email. The course website and our Canvas site 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.

University policies and resources

Academic Integrity
My assumption is that any work you turn in for this course has been completed by you. If you ever have questions about proper attribution or citation, please don't hesitate to ask.

Code of Conduct
Rutgers University-Camden seeks a community that is free from violence, threats, and intimidation; that is respectful of the rights, opportunities, and welfare of students, faculty, staff, and guests of the University; and that does not threaten the physical or mental health or safety of members of the University community and includes classroom space. As a student at the University, you are expected adhere to Student Code of Conduct:

We will be discussing codes of conduct during this class and how they help shape the expectations of a community's interactions. If you have questions about the CoC for this class or of Rutgers-Camden, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Rutgers-Camden has a wide range of resources to help you stay on track both personally and academically. The Raptor Cares Report ( connects you to our Dean of Students Office and they can assist you with a variety of concerns: medical, financial, mental health, or any life issue that impacts your academic performance. You can share a concern for yourself, a classmate or a friend.

Office of Disability Services
The Office of Disability Services (ODS) provides students with confidential accommodation services in order to allow students with documented physical, mental, and learning disabilities to successfully complete their course of study at Rutgers University – Camden. ODS provides for the confidential documentation and verification of student accommodations, and communicates with faculty regarding disabilities and accommodations. The ODS provides accommodation services, which can include readers, interpreters, alternate text, special equipment, and note takers. The ODS also works with students, faculty, staff and administrators to enforce the American with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Office of Military and Veterans Affairs
The Office of Military and Veterans Affairs can assist our military and veteran students with benefits, deployment issues and much more. Contact: Fred Davis 856-225-2791

Support for Undocumented and Immigrant Students
In an ongoing effort to support all students on campus, Rutgers University has established two offices to support undocumented and immigrant students with questions or concerns related to immigration status. The Rutgers Immigrant Community Assistance Project (RICAP) provides free and confidential immigration legal consultations and direct representation to currently enrolled students. For more information or an appointment, contact Jason Hernandez, Esq., at 856-225-2302 or The Rutgers Office of Undocumented Student Services provides one-on-one case management to assist undocumented students and help them access campus resources including financial aid, career services, health services, etc.

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