In the summer of 2008 I attended the Digital Media and Composition Institute at the Ohio State University. Under the tutelage of Cindy Selfe and Scott DeWitt, as well as a cast of talented faculty and graduate students from around the nation, I learned how to compose with audio, video, and other Web 2.0 technologies (most notable and awe-inspiring to me is Sophie–free, open-source software for creating digital books).
This was my first immersion into the world of multimedia composing practices, and the experience energized me as a teacher and scholar (it didn’t hurt that I attended a year after earning tenure…and was feeling a bit numb from the whole process). It was humbling at first to produce work that was so below average, but learning something new in a collaborative environment and being surprised, disappointed, and amazed by what was possible turned a switch on for me. I liked this work, and I wanted to keep doing it with my students, with colleagues, and on my own. I began assigning multimodal work in my classes (different from multi-media assignments because multimodality can include a range of materials, not just digital technology) and experimenting with making new kinds of texts.
Below are two videos I produced. The first was completed in collaboration with Allison Carr, PhD student in Rhetoric and Composition at UC. This video stands as a general intro to our program. The second video was part of my CCCC 2010 presentation; it serves as an assignment description for the multimodal project I assign in a graduate seminar, Teaching College Writing.