Below are brief descriptions and materials for selected courses I’ve taught. Feel free to borrow or remix as you see fit.
James Madison University
This graduate course is designed to help students conduct ethical research in both academic and workplace settings. Students begin by developing appropriate research questions and reviewing the literature around their topics; they then move on to selecting methodologies/methods and developing data collection materials; students conclude the course with a report and presentation of their findings. Throughout the term, students read scholarship on emerging research methods and methodologies in writing, rhetoric, and technical communication. By the end of the term, students are conversant on research trends in the field and prepared to conduct research for a thesis project or internship provider.
Online Content Strategy (course syllabus, Fall 2017)
This graduate-level course examines how businesses and organizations increasingly produce content that spans a range of online spaces from websites to wikis to social media sites. To understand these processes, students study the theories and organizational principles that underwrite online content strategy as well as produce, edit, and manage web-based content. Students also learn a range of technologies and skills (e.g., web hosting, content management systems, HTML, CSS) that support online content strategy as well as complete a variety of projects such as Analysis of Online Content Management Systems, Online Content Inventory, and Online Content Audit. Students also complete a Reading Presentation and TechTalk.
This four-week, online course explores how digital rhetorics—the rhetorical, social, cultural, and literacy practices and epistemologies that occur in digital environments—are changing how we think about and compose digital texts. Students read sources that examine various aspects of digital rhetoric as well as create the following digital projects: Pinterest Digital Literacy Autobiography; Rhetorical Analysis of Digital Media; Digital Diary or Making of/Behind the Scenes; Final Digital Proposal & Project.
In this course, students investigate the rhetorical challenges that women—or any group that employs feminist practices—face in creating and sustaining digital activism. Students engage with texts from interdisciplinary fields related to rhetoric, critical race studies, rhetorics of health and medicine, technofeminist rhetorics, and feminist media studies. Students also complete multimedia projects including blogs, online activist projects, and a final digital project and presentation.
Critical Reading and Writing
Course Theme: Digital Literacies (course syllabus; project 1 calendar; project 2 calendar; project 3 calendar; project 4 calendar, Fall 2017)
Drawing from the course theme of digital literacies, this hybrid course asks students to consider the following: What are digital literacies? How do technologies mediate our writing and reading processes? What’s rhetorical about technology? And how might we develop both print and digital projects that speak to audiences within and beyond the class? To explore these questions, students complete projects such as online reading responses, Pinterest Digital Literacy Autobiography, Digital Literacy Project Proposal & Annotated Bibliography, and a Digital Literacy Project & Presentation.
Using the theme of community, this course helps students develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and information literacy skills. Students engage with a variety of texts (e.g., videos, poems, academic essays, podcasts) that encourage them to ask critical questions about what communities are and how we work within them. Students complete a number of projects including an Argument Analysis Essay, Crafting a Research Question, Annotated Bibliography, and Multimodal Persuasive Essay & Presentation. Each assignment builds on the previous one to help students learn the various steps academic writers take when embarking on research projects.
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
In this two-semester course sequence, first-year composition students develop critical reading, thinking, and writing skills that prepare them to write across and within the disciplines. In their first semester, students practice argument analysis and critical reading skills by drafting and revising multiple projects (e.g., annotated bibliographies, argument analysis essays) and by analyzing course readings. In the second semester, students build on the skills established in the first course by developing advanced information literacy skills, the ability to analyze and evaluate complex academic texts, and proficiency with drafting and revising research-based academic essays.
Washington State University
Technical & Professional Writing
This online course helps students create technical and professional documents such as memos, letters, proposals, reports, and multimedia presentations. It also encourages students to develop professional research strategies and technical problem-solving skills. Throughout the course, students learn techniques for creating audience-centered documents commonly used in technical and professional settings.
Introductory Writing (course website, Spring 2013)
The purpose of this class is to help students practice writing processes appropriate for college-level reading and writing by identifying rhetorical contexts, conducting research, and engaging in academic readings. The course is also designed to equip students with transferable writing and reading skills that span a range of academic and professional contexts. In addition, students practice digital and multimodal writing by creating blogs, tweets, and research-based remediation projects.
Appalachian State University
This online course emphasizes the study of rhetorical principles and writing practices necessary for producing effective professional documents such as letters, reports, proposals, and collaborative projects in web- and print-based environments. In addition, this course focuses on issues related to workplace equality. Students approach these topics through course readings, research, and by creating a team-based project. This course also introduces students to visual design principles and to strategies for using the web for professional communication and team-based collaboration.
Writing Across the Curriculum
This course is the second in a series of four required writing courses. These include expository writing, writing across the curriculum (WAC), writing in the discipline (WID), and a senior capstone project. The purpose of the course is to further students’ understanding of writing and research which span a range of academic genres and disciplines and to prepare them to write for WID-level courses. Throughout the course, students practice a variety of writing styles and techniques both within and across their academic disciplines. Students also develop rhetorical and genre analysis skills, participate in online discussion forums, and engage in ethnographic writing and research. Students complete the course by submitting e-portfolios.
Digital Writing Across the Curriculum (course website, Summer 2011)
I designed and piloted this course to better understand how digital literacies and new media compositions might be integrated into a WAC-focused curriculum. The goal of the course is to introduce students to digital modes of writing and research which span a range of academic genres and disciplines. It also seeks to collaboratively address three core questions: What does digital and multimodal writing look like? What are the potential profits and pitfalls of writing in digital environments? Who are the audiences for such creations? Students explore these questions (and others) by creating course blogs, digital essays, and a variety of new media and multimodal compositions.
This course introduces students to modes of writing which encourage them to develop thoughtful, articulate, and well-organized essays. Students practice a variety of writing forms such as personal narratives, analytical essays, free-writing, and interpretive essays. Students are also introduced to the writing process and portfolio-based writing practices. After completing the course, students enroll in a sophomore-level Writing Across the Curriculum course.
Writing in Service-Learning Communities
This course is similar to a first-year writing course, but has a significant service-learning component. Students are required to participate in local communities either individually or in small groups for a total of 15 hours throughout the semester. Students later draw on their service-learning experiences to develop a range of course projects, presentations, and researched-based academic essays.
Scientific & Technical Writing
This course is taught as a component of the Summer Ventures in Science and Math program, which serves as an enrichment program for academically-motivated high school students interested in science or math. The course is designed to introduce students to scientific/technical writing styles and techniques and to engage them as young adult learners. Upon completion, students are able to recognize and write within a variety of scientific genres, read and interpret scientific data, and understand connections between scientific research and local/global communities.
Introduction to Literature
This course introduces students to the writing process by asking them to read, analyze, and interpret literary texts. Students are exposed to a variety of texts and media, including short stories, poems, visual arts, comics, and film. The course is structured around class readings, discussions, and workshops that enhance students’ understanding of the writing process through literary analysis.