Merging Theory and Practice
My classroom practices and course assignments ask students to address theory through practice, even (or especially) when the theory is new to them. Undergraduate Visual Communication students build visualizations of one of four theoretical texts that we discuss in the early part of the semester. When they approach visual theory through the construction of a visual text, students have to develop a different relationship to a challenging text. Students in my graduate Visual Communication course do this on a larger scale, developing biweekly visual responses to our readings that combine commentary on a visual studies theory with use of designated design strategies. Both undergraduate and graduate students in Writing for Electronic Media and Literary Criticism and Theory complete “theory remixes,” in which they combine work from two theorists to create an argument or “third term” for literary or rhetorical analysis.
Risk and Revision
My courses also provide opportunities for students to take risks and receive feedback without penalty. For most of my classes, each major assignment has two submissions: one for which students can submit anything, including a single sentence or a sad face emoji, and the final submission. The final submission grade replaces the first grade, so students can submit work at any stage and receive feedback without concern about jeopardizing their grades. Students also submit design rationales to assist me in understanding their design goals and interpretation of the assignment.
Accessibility and Mindful Design
I am mindful of the classroom as a kairotic space that is usually designed for a single type of student. In my assignment design and classroom practices, I strive to conceive of the broadest range of student experience, learning styles, and needs. While I’m always revising assignments, over the past few semesters, I’ve been especially focused on developing ways to encourage participation without privileging a narrow subset of learners.
- Composition Theory and Practice, Fall 2019 (graduate)
- Composition Practicum, Fall 2019 (graduate)
- Rhetorical Theories and Practices, Fall 2018 (graduate)
- Modern Rhetoric (topic: Monstrous Rhetorics), Fall 2018