The central projects of my courses are common to all sections of first year writing in my program. Though we are following a common, standard curriculum, our task is to give our work its own signature, pursue our own interests and passions, and develop a digital-political identity with all of the attending multimedia connections that we will be making.
Assessment in my classes is based on an overall 200-point spread for all projects in the course. Each project in this course weighs in and gets counted towards the overall 200 points. Students receive "guidelines" for each project that they help to design, especially since much of the work could generate multiple public audiences in digital spaces. The guidelines for each project intend to communicate as clearly as possible what is expected and also work in sync with the collective discussions that students have had about a successful ePortfolio site.
For some students, the guidelines may feel very new and different. 18-20 year old young adults today are often described in terms of the web 2.0 technologies that have saturated their childhood and early adulthood. However, there might be a better way to historicize young people in this age range: the group who has witnessed and been subjected to the most rubrics, norming standards, high-stakes tests, etc than any other group of K-12 students in the history of education in the United States. In this COLLEGE class, we are not replicating the kinds of assessment strategies in K-12 standardization regimes.
The guidelines are designed rhetorically: to make students stronger writers and to give them a more persuasive digital presence. I ask students to think of writing and designing in this class as giving them more than just an “A” at the end of the course. I expect them to understand themselves as establishing a digital/critical ethos.