First-year Composition (Braegger, V.)

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Name: Victoria Braegger

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Date published: 2021

Course level: First year

Course title: First-year Composition

Course description: English 10600 is the standard 4-credit hour composition course for students at Purdue. The course provides students with the opportunity to interpret and compose in both digital and print media across a variety of forms. Students engage in active learning, which includes class discussion, learning in small groups, problem-solving, peer review, and digital interaction. English 10600 is grounded in the idea that writing provides an outlet for sharing and developing ideas; facilitates understanding across different conventions, genres, groups, societies, and cultures; and allows for expression in multiple academic, civic, and non-academic situations. In short, writing is a way of learning that spans all fields and disciplines.

Course philosophy/motivation: “My teaching philosophy for this course was to deconstruct the barriers that define what writing means in an FYC course. This section focuses on digital rhetorics, or the ways we communicate with and about technology. We therefore spend a great deal of time interrogating what it means to write in a digital, multimedia age; how different technologies change the ways we write, communicate, and relate to others; the ways in which groups, communities, and cultures leverage the internet to communicate, organization, and work in digital spaces; and what it means to be a student, professional, consumer, citizen, advocate, etc. in a technologically connected world. Because of the focus on new media, I believe it’s imperative that students be exposed to a variety of new media. Not only do we read from a textbook, but we also explore a variety of texts produced for digital audiences: online news articles, forums, videos, podcasts, games, reports, data visualizations, blogs, tweets, and memes. As a class, we break down the different formats and their use. Students have the opportunity to practice composing with a variety of media in a low-stakes environment: text, pictures, charts, graphs, audio, document design, video, and more are used throughout the course to approach different genres.”

“Deconstruct barriers that define what writing means in an FYC course and provide students with a low-stakes environment to explore different writing genres through a digital lens.”

Cite as: Braegger, V. , July, 2021, First-year Composition, Gayle Morris Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative.

About Author

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.

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.

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.