The V in WOVEN—Student Posters (Part 2)


When I invite students to use social media for more formal assignments, they say they find writing “definitely enjoyable” and “more entertaining” in that they bring more “academic focus” to the their digital lives. Consumed primarily for instrumental reasons (glued to their mobile devices, like the rest of us, students text, post, like, tweet, google, etc. in order to hang out, keep in touch, follow and be followed, etc.), social media sites have the potential … Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Three

In two earlier posts in this series, I gave an overview of why I use interactive fiction games in my composition classes, and described an “easy way” to do this: that is, using these games as “the reading” for a course unit.  If you’re just joining us and you want to get a quick idea of what interactive fiction (or “IF”) is, the fastest way might be to go here and play a tutorial game … Continue reading

Taking on the Trivial in English 1102


When this school year began, everyone was talking about the GT convocation video that went viral. “You can do that!” was the theme of the speech, where “that” meant things like changing the world, crushing the shoulders of giants, and building the Iron Man Suit. Big ideas! Big risks! Epic theme music! It was an inspiring speech, and how refreshing to see a student who understands that presentations are also performances (I have a hard … Continue reading

Theatrical Training in the Multimodal Composition Classroom

Students including Ethan Telila (L) help me demonstrate how a tension-relieving physical and vocal warmup frees our bodies for expressive performance.  Photo: Josh Ortman.

I run my first-year composition seminar as an acting class several times per semester.  What does that mean?  If you were to visit us, here are some of the things you might witness: physical and vocal warm-ups movement and dance experiments improvisation games observation exercises imagination training scene study discussion of characters’ motivations and actions other performance work Below, I’d like to explain to interested TECHStyle readers some of the exercises my students and I … Continue reading

Expect to Be Disappointed? Moby-Dick and ENGL1102 (Part I)

MD Cover

The title for this post (the first of two) comes from a response I received to a brief writing exercise I assigned to a group of University of Rochester students in a previous semester’s writing class. I was considering the possibility of teaching Moby-Dick in a freshman writing class, and I wanted to get a sense of what they knew, what they thought they knew, and what they had heard about the novel, and how … Continue reading

Framing Media Studies, Part II: Cinematography

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By Clint Stivers and Phoebe Bronstein In the last post, we discussed mise en scene–everything that is put/placed in the scene–and so for this post, we are moving on to cinematography. Cinematography refers to what the camera does from framing, to focus, and movement. In early filmmaking cameras were heavier, and therefore more static. As cameras became lighter and more mobile, so too did ways of capturing motion change–these days many of us carry around … Continue reading

Framing Media Studies: Teaching Cinematic Style, Part I

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By Phoebe Bronstein and Clint Stivers As teachers of multimodal/WOVEN artifacts, we naturally understand how to teach students how to arrange images for effective designs in posters, presentations, infographics, and other visual mediums. Despite having experience in visual rhetoric, some teachers express difficulty in how to approach teaching film. In this spirit, with our brief series on film form, we want to take the opportunity to break down the stylistic elements of film and television–to … Continue reading

The V in WOVEN: Student Posters and the Rhetoric of Waste


 In this post, I’d like to write about student posters and start/continue a conversation about the importance of the V in WOVEN. The Rhetoric of Waste and Sustainability: Teaching writing at Georgia Tech, an institution that prides itself with training problem-solvers, I invite my students to use multimodal communication as a tool to identify and propose solutions to problems of sustainability and resource waste. In a sequence of three major assignments—rhetorical analysis, visual artifact, and … Continue reading

“We Can’t Stop Here! This is Tech Country!” Going Gonzo in English 1101

steadman gonzo

I’ve been thinking lately about one of the many useful comments my adviser made about the failed novel I submitted in the last semesters of my MFA program. She told me I’d shown bad manners. Instead of organizing the book into chapters, I used stick figure drawings to mark breaks between sections. No real respite for the reader. Just a tiny figure, vaguely feminine; she looks a bit like she’s running from something. Believe it … Continue reading

Telling Stories, Building Community: “This I Believe” in the First-Year Writing and Communication Classroom


In the spring of 2011, Georgia Tech started a “This I Believe” project in partnership with the Writing and Communication Program. The campus reading series and student contest are unofficial off-shoots of a popular radio series, originally hosted by Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s, and then resuscitated on NPR from 2005-2009. The radio essays are short and powerful personal essays about core beliefs, written by people from all walks of life. The genre enjoys … Continue reading