Rethinking Instructional Scaffolding

This article is a collaboration with Dr. Dori Coblentz, third-year Brittain Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. It is the first part in a series on the development and implementation of an interactive ethics training module for Georgia Tech’s first-year composition and computer science students. When… Continue reading

7 Brittain Fellows Reflect on Summer Pedagogical Experiments in First-Year Writing

Frankenstein in alternative genres, freshly redesigned periodic tables, poetry and digital archives, feminist editorial interventions in Wikipedia, sustainable futures, pop culture, and crisis—these are the Writing and Communication course topics that Brittain Fellows experimented with in the 2019 summer semester at Georgia Tech. The compressed six-week course schedule and opportunities… Continue reading

Learning to Teach in the Anthropocene

How do I teach while the world burns? How can I teach in the Anthropocene? I thought one night while washing dishes. In the face of the Anthropocene and its harbinger, climate change, teaching seemed futile. At the time, I was also listening to a video essay by Oliver Thorn… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Four: Visualizing the Writing Process

This post is the fourth in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.   In addition to learning about theories of rhetoric and writing, the future English teachers in this fall’s “Teaching Composition” course needed to think about how to apply… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Three: Teaching the Teachers

This post is the third in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One and Part Two.  When I designed an infographic assignment for students in my “Teaching Composition” class last semester, I hoped it would be directly applicable to the careers of the students in… Continue reading

Mapping the Maximalist Novel: A Dialogue Between Students and Teachers

This article and interview are a collaboration between Dr. Benjamin Bergholtz and Dr. Alok Amatya, first-year Brittain Fellows in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech, and FYC students Gabriel Wang, Harsimran Minhas, Simrill Smith, Justin Coleman, and Kartik Sarangmath. I didn’t think I would be able to to… Continue reading

The Office Hour, “Building Stuff”

Students in first-year writing courses at Georgia Tech are sometimes asked to build things. Based on the comic strip that currently hangs in the WCP interns’ office, those students react to these assignments with a mixture of bemusement, annoyance, and–eventually–acceptance. But in this episode of The Office Hour, we hear… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class, Part Two

This post is the second in a series about an infographic project in “Teaching Composition,” a course led by former Brittain Fellow Dr. Anna Ioanes at the University of St. Francis. Read Part One here. Part Two: Writing is a Beast; or, Visualizing Metaphors When we teach students to write, is it best… Continue reading

Public Tech Comm: Preparing Students for Tech Expos

Rows of lunchboxes are lined up on a table. Each box has a label with the words "Junior Design Capstone Expo" and an image of two people trying virtual reality technology.

This is the fourth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. One of the more interesting aspects of the Computer Science Tech Comm Course sequence at Georgia Tech is how it evolves from semester to… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class, Part One

This is the first part in a series by Anna Ioanes (Brittain Fellow, 2015-2018) on teaching infographics and writing at the University of St. Francis where Dr. Ioanes is Assistant Professor of English. The series originally appeared at the USF Lit Works blog.  Introduction In my first semester at the… Continue reading

BTS (방탄소년단) in an English Composition Course

As my students chatted, I situated the camera onto the computer screen. They seemed excited about the class activity: filming a reaction video and posting it to YouTube. Opposite the students, on the screen at the front of the classroom, a music video was paused at a blank white frame…. Continue reading

(Re)designing the Instructional Artifact: The Poetry Machine Project

In the 2017-18 academic year I executed a lively experiment integrating poetry into LMC 3403, a traditional technical communication course at Georgia Tech as the direct result of receiving a Poetry@Tech pedagogy development grant. Technical communication is defined by Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Dragga as writing “that occurs in a… Continue reading

Agile Composition: Promoting Fairness and Efficiency in Group Work

The Group Problem A cursory scroll through the Facebook group, GT Memes for Buzzed Teams, turns up a number of meme gems related to group projects. Take, for instance, the image below of a red-faced man (labeled “me”) straining to pick up a giant boulder (labeled “group project”) while a… Continue reading

Letter from a New York City Jail: Reacting to the Past in First-year Composition

When my student Patrice was arrested, I was amused. We were in my English 1101 seminar, “Romantic Revolutions,” and Patrice had been assigned the role of an indebted farmer in 1770s New York. My class was using Patriots, Loyalists & Revolution in New York City, 1775-76 to revive the independence… Continue reading

Against Argument; or, 25 Notes Toward a Descriptive Pedagogy by Way of Stephen King and Jacques Rancière

  1) Twitter can be a pretty disingenuous place. The tricky thing is that to call attention to any one tweet, however atrocious, risks making a mountain out of a molehill. But as a teacher of writing, literature, and communication, I’ve found myself returning again and again to one particular… Continue reading

How Poetry Saved My Pedagogy

Most of my students did not like poetry. I don’t remember what prompted the realization—probably something banal like analyzing a poem by Dickinson, Keats, or Frost—but I remember the crushing sensation of disappointment and dismay, even despair, that settled over me. Many of them actively disliked it, a few of… Continue reading

Things To Do in Wivenhoe; Or, So Going Around “The Basketball Diaries”: A New York School Travelogue

“Wake up high up / frame bent & turned on,” begins Ted Berrigan’s iconic “Things to Do in New York (City),” a lyric list poem that shows Berrigan moving through the literary landscape of the city in timeless style. Berrigan was fond of this genre, also writing poems like “Things… Continue reading

Teaching in All Seasons: Poetics, Ideal Tendencies, and Food Literacy

SUMMER   “Once I remember looking into the freezer can the next morning and finding the leftover ice cream had all returned to milk. It was like the disappearance of Cinderella’s new clothes.” (Lewis 53) Midway through my Spring composition course, “Food Literacy of Atlanta,” my students and I had… Continue reading

Sonnets @ Tech: The Pedagogy of Writing as Making

When modernist poet William Carlos Williams antagonistically announced, “To me all sonnets say the same thing of no importance. What does it matter what the line ‘says’?”, I wonder whether or not he’d approve of poet and punk rock singer Matt Hart playfully directing students to arrange and rearrange pieces… Continue reading

Teaching with Twitter: Social Media in the Composition Classroom

When I mention that I use Twitter in my first-year writing courses, I am often met with both intrigue and skepticism by students and faculty alike. If writing courses are supposed to be focused on nuanced thinking, careful research, and rhetorically sophisticated arguments, what can students possibly learn from writing… Continue reading

Bodies and Body Language: How Poetry Can Teach Us to Communicate

Bodies, a personal yet strangely distant subject matter for most students to discuss, provide a ripe lens through which to hone the skills that composition classrooms aim to foster. As mediums of communication, bodies afford us multiple ways to express ourselves: through gestures, facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language… Continue reading

Putting Lux in the Darkness: Remembering Poet and Professor Thomas Lux

Editor’s Note: When I first had the idea to teach an English 1102 course about the The New Yorker magazine, I had hoped that Thomas Lux, who has published five poems in the magazine, would come speak to my students. Vijay Seshadri, former editor at The New Yorker and frequent contributor to the… Continue reading

The Doubleplusgoodspeak of Newspeak: Poetry and Orwell’s 1984

Two days after President Trump’s inauguration, on January 22, 2017, the newly-minted Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. She discussed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first press briefing the night before, in which he claimed, despite the existence of much… Continue reading

Strategies for Teaching Non-Native English Speakers: A Roundtable Review

On March 30, 2017, the Writing and Communication Program’s World Englishes Committee hosted the faculty roundtable “Instructing Non-Native English Speakers: Practical Tools.” This event drew Georgia Tech teaching faculty and staff interested in sharing ideas and learning new strategies for better serving the needs of the diverse population of English… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 19: “April Is the Cruellest Month”

In honor of National Poetry Month, Brittain Fellow Jeff Fallis returns to the podcast to discuss what may be literature’s most ill-defined, misunderstood, and maligned genre. As recipients of 2016-2017 Poetry@Tech Pedagogy Grants, Jeff and I talk about some of the ways that we have integrated poetry into our composition classrooms,… Continue reading