New Syllabus Draft: Introduction to Digital Writing

I’m posting below part of my new draft for “Introduction to Digital Writing,” a hybrid course that I will be teaching this Fall. Course description: “This hybrid course will introduce you to some of the key elements for writing for the web. We will consider how the Internet functions as a meeting space for different kinds of communities, and the role that digital writing plays in constructing this space. The major assignment for this class will be to build your own specialized blog and to create a social media following for this blog.”

GAH 2180: Introduction to Digital Writing

Instructor: Professor Adeline Koh
Office: K-125
Email: Adeline.Koh@stockton.edu

Course Description:

This hybrid course will introduce you to some of the key elements for writing for the web. We will consider how the Internet functions as a meeting space for different kinds of communities, and the role that digital writing plays in constructing this space. The major assignment for this class will be to build your own specialized blog and to create a social media following for this blog.

Course goals:

1) To gain a broader understanding and appreciation of intellectual/cultural activity (music, science, literature, etc.)
2) To develop skill in expressing oneself orally or in writing

Course Text
Net Smart, Howard Rheingold.
Additional readings will be made available on the course Canvas website.

Course Videos
Wikiality and Truthiness, Stephen Colbert

Grading Breakdown

Participation: 25% Includes active participation in class, daily writing exercises and online daily writing and comments.
Twitter You can IMPROVE your participation grade by tweeting about the class and the ideas you have learnt regularly. We will sign up for twitter accounts the second week of classes together. You have to use the hashtag #GAH2180 and send the tweet to me @adelinekoh adelinekoh so I can record your tweets for your participation grade. Tweeting regularly by engaging with ideas from the class (more than 3x a week) will boost your participation grade. (Tweeting about your breakfast, however, will not.) If you want credit for your tweets, please fill out the twitter form (link provided on the class Canvas site.)

Peer Review Assignments: 15%
A large part of this class will be focused on training you to better edit and review each other’s work. You will be graded for completing your peer reviews and the quality of these reviews. Rubrics for writing good peer reviews will be provided.

Twitter vs. Zombies Game 5%
We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Blog and Social Media Following Assignments: 55%
In place of a midterm and final paper for this course, you will be tasked with creating your own specialized blog and your own social media following over the semester.
This section of your grade (55%) will be further broken down into the following:
20% Participation in blog assignment
10% Participation in blog discussions in class
25% Peer Reviews and Collaboration with Classmates
45% Reflective Essay and quality of blog

Assignments

Critical Questions Homework: With the exception of the first week of class, you will answer the critical questions as a homework assignment on most Tuesdays. You will have to POST a digital copy to the forum by Tuesday 12.30pm AND bring a copy of these answers with you to class. They will be graded on completion. There are no exceptions for lateness. We will discuss these questions in class, where you will fill out an assessment of your groupmates’ answers.

Peer Review Assignments. You will be graded by your groupmates on how helpful your comments were in revising their homework assignments. Your groupmates (and you) will each submit a review of each other’s peer review work on most Thursdays, along with the revised critical questions.

Revised Critical Questions. After you have participated in course discussion, you will revise your initial answers to critical questions before submitting them once more. You should make your revisions to your original document using a different color font. Using a different color will allow you and me to see how your interpretations of the text have developed based on the discussion. Revised critical questions answers are due on most Thursdays by 2.20pm. These revised questions will be assessed according to a grading rubric which will be provided to you.
Twitter vs. Zombies Assignment. We will play a game to familiarize the class on using Twitter in September. Game participation and a reflective essay later will be 5% of your total grade. Twitter vs. Zombies is a Twitter version of the “Human vs. Zombies” game. You can find out more about the game here. It’s a lot of fun ☺

Final Blog, Social Media following and Reflection Paper: Instructions to come closer to the date.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Introductions

Sept 4. HYBRID.
Due: Self-introductions and commentary on two posts on Canvas website.

Week 2: Social Digital Know-How and Attention

Sept 9: Reading: Introduction, “Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We all Need
It” and Chapter 1, “Attention!”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 11. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 3: Crap Detection

Sept 16. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 2: “Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need
to Know, and How To Decide If Its True”
Watch: Colbert, Stephen. “The Word—Wikiality.” Colbert Nation. July 31, 2006. Watch: Colbert, Stephen. “The Word—Truthiness.” Colbert Nation. October 17, 2005
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Sept 18: HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 4: Twitter vs. Zombies!

Sept 23. Introduction to Twitter. Class meets in COMPUTER LAB.
Sept 25: Twitter vs. Zombies assignment (N.B. Assignment will run September 25-27)

Week 5: Participatory Power.

Sept 30. Read. Net Smart, Chapter 3. “Participatory Power.”
Read: O’Neil, Luke. “The Year We Broke the Internet: An Explanation. An Apology. A Plea.” Esquire.com. December 23, 2013.
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 2. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 6. Social Digital Know-How and Collective Intelligence.

Oct 7. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 4: “Social-Digital Know-How: The Arts and Sciences of
Collective Intelligence.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 9. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 7: Social Has a Shape

Oct 14. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 5: “Social Has a Shape: Why Networks Matter.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Oct 16. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.

Week 8: Research on Niche Blogs.

Oct 21. Due in class. Niche blog proposal and market research.
Ideas: food blogs, beer blogs, pet blogs, mommy blogs, gadget blogs, gaming
blogs. Who has the highest readership? How can I tell? What makes them likeable? How do they broadcast their posts?

Oct 23. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: Revised blog proposal and market research.

Week 9. Peer Review of Niche Blog Proposals

Oct 28. PRECEPTORIAL ADVISING, NO CLASS.

Oct 30. Hybrid.
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: Two peer reviews of your classmates revised blog
proposals and market research.

Week 10. Using the Web Mindfully.

Nov 4. Read: Net Smart, Chapter 6: “How Using the Web (Mindfully) Can Make You
Better.”
Due on Canvas at 12.30pm and in class: Answers to Critical Questions.

Nov 6. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm on Canvas: (1) Revised Critical Questions. (2) Review of your
reviewers.
Week 11. WordPress and Starting Your Blog.

Nov 18. Introductions to WordPress—buy your own domain, use wordpress.com or
Stockton WordPress server. Class meets in computer lab.

Nov 20. HYBRID.
Due at 2.20pm. Intro page drafts and two introductory blog posts on topic due.

Week 12. Peer Reviews

Nov 25. HYBRID
Due at 2.20pm. Two peer reviews of each others’ websites.

Nov 27. THANKSGIVING, No class

Week 13. Establishing a Twitter Following.
Dec 2. Establishing a Twitter following: following, retweeting, being useful, liking,
distributing .
Due in class: Two blog posts.
Dec 4. HYBRID.
Due by 2.20pm: Report on first steps to establishing Twitter following, peer review of two of your classmates’ blogs.

Week 14. Revisions and Reflections.
Dec 9: Last Day of Class. Due: Revised blog and reflection paper.