Category Archives: Digital Pedegogy

Envisioning the Pechkucha

2 September 2015 ATL Digital Pedagogy Meetup Envisioning the Pechakucha: Strategies for Invention and Revision in the Literature Classroom In my presentation I will discuss the way I use pechakucha presentations—20×20, minimal copy, automatic scroll, slide shows—in my course on Shakespeare and the environment. For their final project, students in my class produce a scholarly webtext, which they develop independently [...]

Discussion. 1 Sept.



Before we move begin class discussion of The Tempest, act 1 and the first half of Ingo Berensmeyer’s “Shakespeare and Media Ecology” (515-523), I want to review some basics of literary analysis and the rhetorical gestures required for successful discussion.

Why Discuss?

Discussion in the literature classroom is an oral and collaborative form of close reading. Close reading, a skill that makes possible all of literally study, is a sort-of tacking back and forth between global, general claims about a text and local, linguistic features. Discoveries made at the local level–revelations about meter, repetition, metaphor, synonym, vehicle, tenor, tone, or unusual features.–shape the claims you make at the global level. The claims at the global level eventually attract key textual patterns that you then shape into a reading. So in discussion we perform the skills required for successful close reading and argument, driven analysis. Discussion also helps us make connections between textual elements and commit new information to memory. For these reasons class discussion is the most widely used pedagogical tool.


Good discussions requires participants to engage one another’s ideas. Sustained, collaborative engagement requires the following skills: listening, paraphrase, synthesis, and creativity, i.e. saying again or revoicing. As we discuss the question that follows, I’ll ask you to speak to one another’s ideas about The Tempest.

Take 5-8 minutes to respond and be prepared to cite specific evidence in the text to support your answer.
Does Prospero cause the storm?

Discussion Templates (For more discussion templates seeGerald Graff and Kathy Berkenstein’s They Say; I Say)

Try using some of the templates listed below to engage one another’s ideas:

Paraphrase: “I hear Jimmy saying______ about topic_________”

Synthesize: “Kelly has supported her point, which is_________, with_________ example from the text.”

Contribute: “To build on what Charlie just said, I think_________”

Apply: “The conclusions that Ted draws can also be applied __________”



Getting to Know You



To give your colleagues and I a sense of your interests, please freewrite a response to the following prompt. Once you respond to the prompt, we will discuss the responses–first in pairs, then in groups of four, and then as a class. Make sure you introduce yourself to your colleagues before discussing your responses in pairs and groups.


What is your favorite Shakespeare play or poem? (Or, if you don’t have a favorite Shakespeare work, name your favorite poem, novel, movie, or TV show). Next, in 5-10 sentences, briefly describe how your favorite Shakespeare text helps you to think about contemporary events and/or engages your individual interests.


Reading Across Platforms

Reading Across Platforms is an outline of an assignment sequence designed for students in courses that require multimodal writing and reading. Since rhetorical situation determines the skills required for effective reading and writing, I contend students need to be taught how to read across platforms. Thorough knowledge of platform features enables responsive reading/writing. Along with teaching tool features, the activity [...]

List of Classroom Activities

In the document embedded below, you will find a list of activities that can be adapted and run in composition and literature courses at most undergraduate levels. The activities emphasize one or more of the following skills: collaboration; leadership; audience awareness; revision; synthesis; retention; and judgement. I assembled the list from the following texts: On Course: A Week By Week [...]

The Weather on FaceBook

Draft of sustainable assignment for Piedmont Project Outcome Goals: Frame research questions and circumvent a digital data set Develop best practices for comparative analysis of visual and verbal digital texts Represent findings in multiple modes: argument driven analysis essay & visually as maps or infografics Purpose Work as citizen scientists assess warming or environmental change and its effects over time [...]

Assessing Visual Rhetoric

The slides that follow guide students through an assessment of visual rhetoric, layout, and design. The activity is broken down into the following stages: outcome goals; suggested readings; collaborative criteria generation; small and full class exploration and analysis; possible add-ons; and visual models.


“Twenty Fourteen”  was cited as an example of a successful website during Domain 101 introductory activities. Since Twenty Fourteen is also the current WP default theme, let’s install that theme and test its usability. To begin to install or change a theme, go to your dashboard and hover over “Appearance” and the slide over to “Themes,” as shown below: Once in [...]
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