John Harkey, Rachel Dean-Ruzicka and Aaron Kashtan Teach the 20th Century

  The Special Events Committee of the Writing and Communication program invites all LMC faculty and administrators to the first of our Fall 2013 events: “Teaching the 20th Century: A Colloquium on Digital Pedagogy and 20th Century Literature and Culture.” On Tuesday, October 29th, from 11AM to 12PM, in Hall 102, three third-year… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Two

In an earlier post, I explained why I think interactive fiction (IF) computer games can drive valuable experiments in the multimodal composition classroom.  You can check out Part One for an overview of what IF is and what I think it can do for students.  In the present post, I’ll… Continue reading

TECHStyle 3.0: Goals for 2013-2014

The editors of TECHStyle welcome new and returning Brittain Fellows to a new semester! We want to share with you our goals and objectives for the continuing development of the site. New Britts will contribute regularly to TECHStyle through their participation in weekly Digital Pedagogy seminars (see a sample post… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction

Regular readers of TECHStyle may remember my mentioning, back in September, my plans to use interactive fiction (“IF”) computer games in my multimodal composition classes.  After two semesters of teaching students to read, play, and write IF games, I can say that the experiment was mostly a success.  While we… Continue reading

Anticipating THATCamp

I’ve been a member of the digital humanities community here at Georgia Tech for the past year and a half (+!) and yet here I am, THATCamp-less.  It’s a shame.  I’m ashamed!  THATCamp is one of the hallmarks of what we at the Brittain Fellowship try to do on a… Continue reading

Infinite 1102: A Collective Romp Through Infinite Jest, Part I

  1079 pages. 388 footnotes.  2 lbs 10 oz (and that’s the paperback). David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is nothing if not formidable. It languishes on many a “to-read” shelf alongside Joyce’s Ulysses and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Despite its intimidation factor, Infinite Jest can be a pretty accessible read, and it is absolutely… Continue reading

Hybrid Pedagogies: Epistemology and Empiricism

This week’s seminar picked up where we left off, revisiting the usage of Twitter in a classroom setting with two instructor demonstrations of Twitter backchannels, including one for an in-class film screening. Another instructor demonstrated how the Piazza platform had stimulated classroom discussion in similar ways to Twitter, which led to the first of two main questions of the night: What we want from using a hybrid pedagogy? Possibilities included more student engagement, or a better quality of student work and responsiveness, but we also voiced the desire to create a classroom space that had a different sense of community that is somehow different from that created by face-to-face interaction. Once our goals were articulated, we were faced with the more difficult question of how we can assess to what extent we get what we want. It is this second question that this blog post will focus on.

While discussion mainly centered on practical and logistical questions, as well as anecdotal successes and failures, the underlying assumptions that shaped our inquiries are both methodological and epistemological. Epistemology and methodology are inextricably linked. The purpose of this post is to review the reasons why epistemology and methodology are so contentious among researchers in composition theory and technical writing, as well as create a space for further discussion. Continue reading