ENG/IMS 224: Digital Writing & Rhetoric
Spring 2016, T/Th 4-5:20  ||  Upham Hall 328  ||  https://engims224blog.wordpress.com/

Patrick Harris  || harrisp5@miamioh.edu ||  BAC 268

  • In person by appointment: T/Th 2:30-3:30
  • Online by appointment (GoogleHangout or Skype)

Welcome to ENG/IMS 224! 
This course is designed to give you theoretical and practical frameworks for planning, designing, and writing in digital modes that blend textual, auditory, and visual elements. We will read, analyze, and write digital genres through the lens of a focal topic chosen by you, allowing you to explore a personal interest in depth throughout the semester. Each project gives you the opportunity to construct an argument about your topic in multiple digital modes. Readings in this course will give you examples to analyze and theory to consider in relation to the intersections of rhetoric, design, ethics, culture, and digital composing. Primarily, this class will give you experience in planning, designing, and delivering digital writing thoughtfully and purposefully.

* By remaining enrolled in this course, you acknowledge that you’ve read, understand, and agree to adhere to the policies outlined in this syllabus.

Course Objectives

  • Employ fundamental principles of rhetoric to analyze the persuasive strategies of digital multimodal texts
  • Employ effective practices of rhetoric and design to compose and deliver digital multimodal texts for specific audiences
  • Apply rhetorical principles to produce effective digital multimodal texts
  • Consider the unique affordances and constraints of textual, auditory, and visual modes of writing
  • Redesign, revise, and edit writing critically based on self-analysis and peer workshopping, while developing skills for giving feedback to others
  • Self-reflect to understand how rhetorical principles can be used to make or strengthen an argument
  • Examine the rhetorical, social, cultural, and ethical dimensions of writing in a digital age

Required Materials

  • Laptop; bring everyday, fully charged
  • Headphones or earbuds for in-class work time
  • Access to GoogleDrive through your Miami account
  • Access to our course site, https://engims224blog.wordpress.com/
  • Cloud storage, USB drive, or some system used to backup your work
  • Access to software/hardware of your choice used to complete projects (image editing, sound editing, video editing, etc.). See “Technology Resources” below
  • Note there is no required textbook for this course– readings will be provided for you via weblinks or PDFs

Access & Accommodations
I assume that all of us have different ways of learning, and that the organization of any course will accommodate each student differently. For example, you may prefer to process information by speaking and listening, so that some of the handouts I provide may be difficult to absorb. Please communicate with me as soon as you can about your individual learning needs and how this course can best accommodate them. You may also obtain additional information and support from the Office of Learning Disabilities Services 513-529-8741 or The Office of Disability Resources 513-529-1541.

Technology Resources
Obviously, this is a tech heavy course. While I do consider myself immersed in digital technology in my daily life, I don’t consider myself an expert in technology or in any of the programs we will explore in this course. I am, however, an expert in navigating the various resources at our disposal in search of an answer. Therefore, I like to position myself as a co-learner and as someone who you can come to with questions. If I don’t have the answer, I can help you find one. We’ll work through it together!
These are resources I strongly recommend you utilize throughout the semester:

  • King Library 27: a computer lab restricted to IMS students; all students enrolled in 224 will be given access for the semester.
  • CIM Lab (King Library): a computer lab in King library where they might be able to assist you with technology.
  • King Library main desk–Equipment Checkout: video cameras, flip cameras, audio recorders for check out.
  • Howe Writing Center: if you need assistance with the rhetorical side of your project(s), consider making an appointment with the tutors at the writing center.
  • Miami’s Tech Training and Workshops: https://www.units.miamioh.edu/uit/node/106

It is Miami University policy that every student is expected to attend every class meeting. Since this is a discussion-oriented course, your attendance is crucial, and key to successfully completing assignments. Regular attendance will greatly elevate your chances of performing well. Simply showing up for class, however, will not be enough. I expect this class to be the site of lively intellectual activity, discussion, debate, and critical but respectful exchange. Accordingly, timely arrival is crucial.  Attendance will be taken at the start of class; your attendance percentage (calculated by Canvas’ Roll Call software) will be 10% of your final grade in this class.

Late Work
I understand life happens and this can impede an ability to finish work on time. Therefore, I will consider requests for extensions on a case-by-case basis only if the request is made at least 48-hour prior the due date (extensions for work that affects others, i.e. rough drafts for peer response, are non-negotiable). Otherwise, as due dates are clearly marked on the schedule, late work will be penalized by 10% per day that it is late.  Assume technology will fail you and plan ahead!  That said, the maximum penalty is 50%, meaning lateness is no excuse for not doing the project at all.

Academic Integrity
The assumption is that your work is original and generated for ENG/IMS 224 during the Spring semester of 2016. There are many types of academic dishonesty—some more obvious than others, but there are more subtle forms you may not be aware of. A good rule of thumb to live by: if you’re not sure whether you’re violating these rules, talk to me about it. To familiarize yourself with the details of Miami’s Academic Integrity policy and examples of/penalties for instances of academic dishonesty, visit http://www.muohio.edu/integrity/undergrads.cfm.

There will be times when we meet outside of class for group and/or individual conferencing. Conferences are meant to give you the opportunity to ask me questions about and receive feedback on your work. Please arrive prepared to discuss your work in a critical and engaged way. Missing or arriving late to a scheduled conference will result in an absence.

In-class Conduct
Most important: Be a good, generous, and kind colleague. This involves respecting others’ opinions and being aware that your actions in class, verbal and nonverbal, affect others’ learning experience.

We meet as a group of professionals engaged in mutual inquiry about a common goal—understanding digital rhetoric and writing. Please extend professional courtesies to me and one another: reading the assigned materials before class, attending all meetings and arriving on time, preparing work by the date expected, respecting and learning from differences of opinion and background, reviewing peer writing with the goal of helping each other achieve quality work, and contributing to classroom conversations and exercises.

Please limit your technology use to class related activities. I don’t mind the occasional text or IM, but please don’t make it a habit or a distraction to me and others.

I’m always happy to talk with students about their work, and so I encourage you to schedule times to meet with me outside of class to receive feedback. This is the best way to ensure you’re on the right track. I will not provide feedback to students who email me a project and ask me to look at it and respond. My feedback will be much more beneficial if we can have a conversation about it together. If meeting face-to-face is not an option, I’d be happy to meet online using whatever method you prefer. Plan ahead—it’s difficult for me to help if you contact me the night before something is due.

Contacting Me
The fastest way to reach me is via email (harrisp5@miamioh.edu). I usually respond within 24 hours, unless it’s over a weekend in which case it may take me a little longer. I hold office hours in Bachelor 268 immediately before class from 2:30 to 4, and can certainly make appointments at other times to accommodate your schedule. Again, I encourage you to meet with me to work on your writing. Or, just stop by to chat—you’re always welcome, and I’m here to help.

More detailed explanations of each component can be found on our course site, https://engims224blog.wordpress.com/. Review this page, as it contains more specific information about the various graded elements contained within each project. Please note final grades will not be rounded up, and there are no extra credit opportunities.

Grades will be reported to you via the “Grades” function on Canvas.  If you have any trouble accessing or viewing your grades, please let me know.

  • Focal Topic Proposal  ||  5%
  • Project 1: Visual Design Portfolio  || 15%
  • Project 2: Audio Portfolio  ||  20%
  • Project 3: Video Portfolio  ||  25%
  • Midterm Exam  || 10%
  • Attendance  || 10%
  • Responses & Comments  || 15%

Total: 100%