In the list of readings below, I will use the following abbreviations for the course texts.

  • B2B: Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, and Harry Lewis. Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness after the Digital Explosion. Addison-Wesley, 2008.
  • NET: Howard Rheingold. Net Smart: How to Thrive Online. MIT Press, 2012.
  • WP24: George Plumley. WordPress 24-Hour Trainer. 2nd ed. Wiley, 2011.
  • W/D: Kristin L. Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, & Cheryl E. Ball. Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.

Unit 1: Personal Website, part 1

Unit goals: Create a personal website using the WordPress platform; successfully post to the course forums; successfully participate in hangout with instructor; understand and be able to relate basic concepts related to multimodal communication.


Readings & Assignments

Weekly Goals

Week 1

Assignments: Register for an account on this site; create two forum posts (details)

Goals: Familiarize yourself with the course requirements and course website by registering for an account on the site and successfully adding a post to the course forum
1/16 Last day to register, add new courses, make section changes, change pass/fail, and audit
1/19 Martin Luther King’s Birthday Recess
Week 2

  • NET: Introduction: Why You Need Digital Know-How—Why We All Need It and Ch. 1, Digital Explosion
  • W/D: Ch. 1, What Are Multimodal Projects?
  • WP24
    • III.7, Working with the Text Editor
    • III.8, Laying out Text
    • III.10, Adding a New Page

Assignments: Read questions and responses on syllabus forum; post a reading response to the discussion forum and respond to one classmate’s post; complete and return quiz on W/D reading; set up accounts on Google Drive, Google Plus, and (details)

Goals: Identify & define the 5 modes of communication; define “affordance” & recognize affordances of different communication modes in your forum post; use Google+ hangouts for first group discussion
Week 3

  • B2B: Preface and Ch. 1, Digital Explosion
  • WP24
    • IV.11, The Basics of Handling Media Files
    • IV.12, The Upload/Insert Window Tabs
    • IV.13, Image Options in Detail

Assignments: Post and reply to a post on the discussion forum; the first submission of your personal websites is due before 5 p.m. on 1/30 (details)

Goals: Successfully add media files to a WordPress site; identify and relate key concepts related to digital technologies and their effects on individuals and culture in your forum post

Unit 2: Multimodal Analysis

Unit goals: Understand and be able to relate concepts such as the rhetorical situation and design features of multimodal texts; successfully collaborate with classmates in small groups by meeting deadlines and providing constructive feedback on projects; cite sources in multimodal texts so that readers are able to identify and verify those sources and the information you obtain from them; develop a revision process that allows you to integrate constructive feedback from your peers into your work


Readings & Assignments

Weekly Goals

Week 4

  • W/D: Ch. 2, Analyzing Multimodal Projects
  • NET: Ch. 2, Crap Detection 101

Assignments: Complete forum post and response for NET reading; complete assignment for W/D reading; establish contact with the members of your work group for this project and schedule time for hangout in week 5 (details)

Goals: Identify and define the 4 parts of a rhetorical situation and the 5 key design concepts (from WRITE) and successfully relate how design changes on a website relate to rhetorical situation in your analysis assignment; successfully communicate with analysis partner via email
Week 5

  • W/D: Ch. 3, Choosing a Genre and Pitching Your Project
  • B2B: Ch. 6, Balance Toppled
  • WP24
    • V.18, Managing Posts and Pages
    • V.20, Managing Post Categories and Tags
    • V.21, Managing Widgets and Menus

Assignments: Complete and return assignment for W/D reading; complete forum post and response for B2B reading; hangout #2 (details)

Goals: Identify and relate conventions for multimodal genres; coordinate and work effectively with a group; organize posts and pages on WordPress sites
Week 6

  • W/D: Ch. 4, Working with Multimodal Sources and pp. 112-113
  • NET: Ch. 3, Participation Power
  • B2B: Ch. 8, Bits in the Air

Assignments: Submit draft of analysis to work group and respond to their drafts; complete forum post and response for NET and B2B readings; complete and return assignment for W/D reading (details)

Goals: Identify best practices for citing sources in multimodal texts, identify high-quality sources for research, identify ethics issues related to copyright and fair use for multimodal sources by completing the weekly readings
Week 7

Assignments: Complete forum post and response for NET and B2B readings; [Updated 2/23] Read post on introduction strategies and identify an effective strategy for your analysis; post the final version of analysis to the portfolio page of your personal website before 11:59 p.m. on 2/27 (details)

Goals: Successfully integrate peer feedback into revision process for multimodal design analysis by revising your analysis in response to peer feedback
2/27 Mid-semester

Unit 3: Book Chapter Remix

Unit goals: Understand the process for designing, drafting, and revising complex multimodal projects and apply this process to the creation of a video; apply principles of genre and rhetorical purpose to audio/visual media; successfully cite sources in manner appropriate to audiovisual media.


Readings & Assignments

Weekly Goals

Week 8

  • NET: Ch. 4, Social-Digital Know-How
  • B2B: Ch. 4, Needles in the Haystack
  • Video Tutorials (choose the one appropriate for your operating system)
    • Windows users can use Windows Movie Maker: Work through the entire page as well as all of the pages below the “Learn more about Windows Movie Maker” heading
    • Mac users can use Imovie: Read the following sections, making sure to click through all of the drop-down menus: “Import video,” “Browse and organize the library,” “Create movies,” and “Share video clips and projects.”

Assignments: Complete reading responses; create a “Hello, world!” video (details)

Goals: Import media—video, audio, and images—into a movie editing program; trim and move clips in a movie file; add titles to a movie file; save and export a movie file.
Week 9

  • NET: Ch. 5, Social Has a Shape
  • W/D: Ch. 6, Designing Your Project
  • Hagen and Golombisky, White Space is Not Your Enemy, ch. 11

Assignments: Complete reading responses; find an example of a video that you find stylistically compelling and share it with the class; storyboard your video project and share your storyboard with your peer review partner (details)

Goals: Understand process for designing a multimodal project by completing weekly readings; create a storyboard for a video project
Week 10

  • NET: Ch. 6, How (Using) the Web (Mindfully) Can Make You Smarter
  • W/D: Ch. 7, Drafting and Revising Your Project

Assignments: Return comments on your partner’s storyboard; complete reading responses; Hangout #3 (details)

Goals: Apply principles of revision to video project
3/20 Last day to drop a class
3/21-29 Spring recess
Week 11

  • WP24
    • IV.16, Adding Video and Audio
    • VI.23: Managing Comments
    • VIII.30, Optimizing Your Content

Assignments: The final version of your Book Chapter Remix should be posted to the portfolio page on your website before 11:59 p.m. on 4/2 4/3 (details)

Goals: Successfully share videos using a web-based video service and embed those videos on your Wordpress site.
4/3 Friday before Easter recess

Unit 4: Issue/Cause Website; Personal Website, part 2

Unit goals: Understand and apply principles for effective group collaboration; adapt skills for multimodal composition and rhetorical analysis to the creation of a multimodal, rhetorically affective website; understand and apply principles of revision to the creation of new version of a personal website


Readings & Assignments

Weekly Goals

Week 12

  • W/D: Ch. 5, Assembling Your Technologies and Your Team

Assignments: Respond to Doodle poll with availability for Hangout #4; create a Proposal and Team Contract for the Issue/Cause Website (details)

Apply principes of project planning and organization to the creation of a Proposal for the Issue/Cause website; practice effective collaboration by drafting a team contract to establish expectations for group work
Week 13

  • W/D: Ch. 8, Putting Your Project to Work

Assignments: Hangout #4; share link to group website (details)

Discuss project and team structure in group hangout
Week 14

  • NA

Assignments: Submit draft version of website (details)

Practice effective project management by updating instructor on progress of project
Week 15

  • NA


Demonstrate mastery of effective web design and collaboration practices by completing the Personal Website and Issue/Cause Website