This is the sixth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. As I have written about in an earlier post, many of Georgia Tech’s Computer Science and Computational Media majors are required to take our… Continue reading
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
This is the second part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and classroom. Read the series introduction here. One (but by no means the only) path to a career in software development is through an undergraduate degree in Computer Science (CS). For most… Continue reading
I was a Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech from Fall 2016 until this past August, when I accepted a full time job at RedMonk, a developer-focused tech industry analyst firm. Because the job offer came in days before the Fall 2018 semester started, I had concerns about the timing: I… Continue reading
The longer I teach, the more aware I become of a growing ideological separation between myself and my students. It’s not that I’m morphing into an out-of-touch, elbow patch-wearing professor (OK, I do have elbow patches), but there is definitely a widening divide, and over time, I’ve come to realize… Continue reading
On Tuesday, March 14, Georgia Tech hosted a screening of the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap. The 2015 film, which played at various film festivals and tech events such as the 2015 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, examines the lack of gender diversity in the American software… Continue reading
On Tuesday, November 13, the Writing and Communication Program will sponsor a symposium on How Medieval Technology Can Teach the Past. The symposium will foreground the ways in which knowledge of history informs technological development today and allows faculty from different programs and schools across Georgia Tech to collaborate and… Continue reading
For many instructors, teaching about the past can be problematic, especially to Georgia Tech students who may have little interest in any time period that predates their existence, or who may have the interest, but don’t see how such topics can aid them in their pursuit of a STEM degree…. Continue reading
Jason W. Ellis and Rachel Mahan will lead a discussion on single-sourcing and user experience issues for this week’s seminar. While technical communication often focuses on software technologies, those same technologies influence and shape what technical communication is and how technical communication is done. A specific area of pedagogical interest… Continue reading
I came across this piece while planning an 1101 assignment that will require students to analyze web texts through Voyant. “Could we imagine a world in which ‘Here is an ordered list of the books you should read,’ gives way to, ‘Here is what I found. What did you ﬁnd?’ via… Continue reading
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
This week, in our weekly Brittain Fellow Research Methodology seminar on Hybrid Pedagogy, we discussed using Twitter as a tool for creating a “back-channel” of conversation at conferences, lectures, and in the classroom. Our conversation constituted the “face-to-face” component of our own hybrid classroom; our session technically began last week when we all attended the Emory DISC lecture “Seeing Time” by Edward L. Ayers during which we used a twitter back-channel (#discayers) to have a synchronous discussion about the talk. We then continued our conversation asynchronously on TECHStyle by commenting on Robin Wharton’s write up of the event “What Should a Hybrid Classroom Look like?” during the week leading up to our Wednesday evening Research Methodology seminar.
In our “face-to-face” discussion, we shared our experience using the Twitter back-channel during the talk, and many of us expressed feeling distracted by the effort to listen to the speaker … Continue reading
Well, last night our hybrid classroom looked very much like the Jones Room and the new Research Commons at Emory’s Woodruff Library. Every spring, a number of Brittain Fellows choose to participate in an optional postdoctoral seminar on research methodologies. This semester, because the Writing and Communication Program is piloting hybrid pedagogy in our first-year composition and technical communication classes, we are using the design and assessment of hybrid pedagogies as a lens through which our examination of method is focused.
For those of you who may be wondering, hybrid pedagogy (also known as blended learning) combines face-to-face and distance or virtual learning strategies. Some thought-provoking recent studies have suggested hybrid instruction may–at least in some situations, for some students–create a more optimal learning environment than either traditional or wholly-online classes. Continue reading
As a multimedia instructional librarian, I am continually amazed at how much more engaged and excited students become when they have to challenge themselves and break away from using what they consider to be the traditional modes of communication in an academic environment. For example, this can occur through having to create a website, a visually stunning poster, designing a three- dimensional model, or masterminding a feature film.
So often, the necessary emphasis placed on the message content may cause us to forget the importance of choosing the best method for delivering that content. The way information is transmitted has the potential to either obscure or enhance the message content.
In this article I wish to reflect at more length on the topic of “archaeology of digital media,” which happens to be the topic of discussion this week for the weekly Digital Pedagogy Seminar for first-year Brittain Fellows. Although many literary scholars are certainly well-versed in historical approaches, myself included,… Continue reading
Ready for the next installment of our discussion about the digital divide, access, and privilege? This time, we’ll focus more of our attention on how issues of gender, sexuality, and ability should be addressed when we incorporate new media and technologies into the communication classroom. We’ll start the seminar off… Continue reading
We asked Brittain Fellows who will be moving on from the program to reflect upon their experiences. Four Britts rose to the challenge; as you’ll see, the perspectives of Jo Anne Harris, Crystal Lake, Melissa Meeks and Paulette Richards are varied but share an enthusiasm for the time they have… Continue reading
On November 18, the Georgia Tech Writing and Communication Program hosted the Fall Communication Colloquium in which two Brittain Fellows presented on work their students have been doing in class this semester. The presenters did such a wonderful job generating discussion during the sessions (a link to an archive of… Continue reading
The Future Media Fest emphasized, for me, the increasing tension between the public sphere and private enterprise or, in other words, the struggle between corporate profit and public good over the move to more collective forms of identity. In my first post, on the Startup Technology Showcase, I looked at… Continue reading
Last week, I found it difficult to relate to the other attendees of Georgia Tech’s FutureMedia Fest 2010; in fact, I failed to connect with them rather spectacularly on many levels. Moving back and forth between academia and a considerably more commercial environment is jarring. I failed to share the… Continue reading