English 526/726: Writing in Electronic Environments (Borchert, J.J.)


Name: Jessica Jorgenson Borchert

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Date published: 2021

Course level: Upper-Level, Graduate

Course title: English 526/726: Writing in Electronic Environments

Course description: This course will focus on user experience. User experience is a person’s emotions, attitudes, and use around a product, system, or service. To help us understand user experience, we will discuss core concepts related to usability and user experience in web and mobile platforms. Assignments will ask us to reflect on and analyze the user experience design of web, gaming, and other digital platforms. A final project will focus on creating a usability test over an app, product, or web platform.

Course philosophy/motivation: “I practice a feminist, critical pedagogy where I find that I learn just as much as you and along with you. My courses thrive on discussion, so I expect you to come to class prepared to be an active participant. When I step into a classroom, I step in with the expectation that I will not have to police you. For example, I should not have to tell you to be quiet if someone is speaking. The classroom is a collaborative community full of difference and so it exists as a “contact zone” (see: Mary Louise Pratt, “Contact Zones”). Because the classroom exists as a contact zone, I need you to respect differences in embodied experiences. People from outside communities will enter our classroom, so be prepared to interact with and welcome differences. With this, I encourage you to bring your own knowledge, experience, and expertise to our discussions, but also arrive to class with an open mind. I learn as much from you as I hope you learn from me. I welcome you to the course and I look forward to getting to know you better as we discuss course materials.”

“To help students understand user experience research methods within the field of technical communication.”

Cite as: Borchert, J. J., English 526/726: Writing in Electronic Environments, July, 2021,  Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative.

About Author

Sarah Hughes

Sarah Hughes is a PhD candidate in the Joint Program in English & Education at the University of Michigan, where she also teaches in the English Department Writing Program. Her research interests include digital rhetoric, gender and discourse, and gaming studies. Her dissertation project explores how women use multimodal discourse—grammatically, narratively, and visually—to navigate online gaming ecologies.

Nupoor Ranade

Nupoor is a PhD Candidate in the Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at the North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on audience analysis, digital rhetoric, user experience and information design primarily in the field of technical communication and artificial intelligence. Her research experience and partnerships with the industry help her bridge gaps of knowledge that she then brings to her pedagogical practices.

Jianfen Chen

Jianfen Chen is a PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at Purdue. Her research interests include public rhetoric, digital rhetoric, risk communication, intercultural communication, and professional and technical communication.