Friday, August 31, 2007

This is Donna Strickland, and I'm here to talk about....

Just had a meeting with A, an MA student in rhet/comp. We were talking about his comp class as well as about his thesis, when this idea blossomed: "The making of this paper or project," modeled on the "Making-of" feature on DVDs. Students would narrate the process of creating their papers or media projects for class. I like to do reflective writing in classes, in which students reflect on the choices they've made as they were writing their papers and the potential effects of those choices. The "Making-of" would be a "multimodal" version of the reflective paper, maybe a podcast, maybe a movie.

Has anyone already tried something like that?


Daniel said...

Haven't tried it, but what a great idea. Lots of interesting possibilities here, I think. Could use blogs, I guess. Or for the more multimodal version maybe something like the Sophie software that is now out in beta. It seems to be pretty decent at taking a text and flowing it over multiple pages. You could then weave around that text snippets from the process. It seems a bit harder to work, than what might be ideal. I'm just brainstorming. Eager to hear more.

Laurie Cella said...

Sorry to bother you, as I sit here prepping for my class, and really reading blogs and thinking, I saw your post and had to comment! I have been thinking about documenting the writing process in a similiar way: I wanted to make a documentary of a small group in one of my composition classes, but as a brand-spanking new faculty here, I realized that it would be hard to manage. I settled on having my upoper-level students create a blog on their writing process, but it feels like a compromise. If you do make a doc on your students, would you be interested in collaborating with me if I ever got the courage to do it here? I teach at Shippensburg University, in PA, and my email is Let me know....

comoprozac said...

I like the idea.

Here's a movie made by/for teachers I think is kinda a creative nonfiction piece...or it has nothing to do with what you're talking about.


bonnie lenore kyburz said...

i tried this, pretty much exactly as you describe, except that the class was "traditional" (no computers) and so it was sort of a "suggestion" rather than an assignment. some students took the spirit of it to produce images of themselves in frustrated writerly poses. some made elaborate signs explaning what was going on; others did faily obvious things (messy desks, cans of red bull . . . ). the used the images as portfolio covers, for the most part. no one took me up on the idea of formatting the images as a "feature" of their dvd/portfolio.

i'd like to try this again in a networked class, where we can actually work on it.

but even if the whole thing didn't go off as well as i'd hoped, the *concept* was useful for getting students to reflect upon their writing, the scenes of their writing,sites of what is often or usually depression/conflict/frustration which sort of transformed into spaces for reflecting upon their writing processes with more of a sense of curiosity and humor. more "authentic" reflection. and that was good.

Donna said...

Cool! Thanks, Bonnie. (And thanks, Zac, though belatedly.)

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