Aural Rhetorics and Multimodal Composing ~ Session F7


Review by Kyle D. Stedman

Read more about session F7 on the C&W conference site.


Jessica Corey, Kent State University, “Sustainable Storytelling: Novice Teachers’ Use of Audio Feedback”
Valerie Robin, Georgia State University, “Active Looking: A Pedagogical Approach to Multimodal Compositions”

This video review can be experienced in two ways.

Most folks will opt for the sleeker, shorter version. This version takes less than six minutes to introduce the ideas presented in this panel. Think of it as a taste test, letting you know if the presenters’ ideas align enough with your interests to make you want to email the authors, or maybe grab a snack with them at your next conference.

But there’s also a longer, weirder version. At nine minutes, it includes a story inspired by Corey’s storytelling and some playing with interfaces inspired by Robin’s playing with interfaces. The rest of the content is the same; the new chunks are simply plopped in at 0:48-1:55 and 7:23-end of this version.

(And here’s a very abbreviated version for skimmers: Corey describes a method of giving recorded aural feedback to students in which she allows herself to tell tangential stories sparked by their writing. Robin introduces active looking, a phrase she coined to describe a multimodal pedagogy that encourages students to pay attention to interfaces with an aim toward composing effectively in those spaces themselves.)

It’s worth briefly noting a couple of reasons why I’m presenting both videos instead of picking one:
The panel’s content seemed to invite it. Both were presented in a spirit of playfully stretching boundaries, velcroing aural feedback and multimodal pedagogy to new, associative ideas. They were fun. So it feels right to have fun in response, moving the genre of a review beyond a simple summary.

But as we tell students all the time, sometimes our best stuff simply doesn’t work for a given rhetorical situation. There are a lot of reviews of this conference, and no one can be expected to sit through a single one that takes nine minutes. (And I know that even the short version is pretty long by contemporary web standards.) So I’m also intrigued by the idea of showing both as a way to highlight the revision practices of multimodal composers. I’d always rather show the seams than hide them. And again, showing the seams is a theme embodied by this panel.

Or, tl;dr: this panel made me think cool thoughts, so I made a long video. Then I made it shorter.

Kyle D. Stedman is assistant professor of English at Rockford University (formerly Rockford College), where he teaches first-year composition, digital rhetoric, and creative nonfiction. He studies sonic rhetorics, fan studies, and intellectual property, occasionally blogs from, and often tweets from @kstedman.


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