Course Portfolio

During the first meeting of a new class the first document given out is always the class syllabus.  The professor develops the syllabus based on what they hope to teach you during your time in class during the semester.  In most cases the syllabus just contains basic material and test dates, but sometimes the syllabus is pages long.  After the syllabi are presented they are normally filed away and never dealt with again, but for ENGL 307 Digital Writing we were given the chance to break down the syllabus after the semester was over and point out how we met each requirement.

The syllabus mentioned the following as the outcomes for the course; play, performance, simulation, appropriation, multitasking, distributed cognition, collective intelligence, judgment, transmedia navigation, networking, and negotiation.  In many cases the class worked with these outcomes all semester and in other cases the students only recently reached some course outcomes during the last project.  One of the outcomes that was addressed all class was the simulation outcome.  Simulation means the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models and real-world processes, which is displayed in our class blogs.  Another outcome that was worked with all semester long was the multitasking outcome.  To multitask simply means being able to look at and analyze items while being able to shift focus as needed to prioritize.  Multitasking was popular throughout the semester because all students were required to look at videos and work with articles while analyzing and picking out the most important information.  Another course outcome that was worked with all semester was the networking outcome.  Networking is the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information.  This was carried out throughout the entire semester to complete assignments and produce the different blog posts.  The other outcomes were addressed during the different projects and assignments that were assigned throughout the semester.

The different projects assigned throughout the semester addressed the majority of the course outcomes.  Project one worked collective intelligence, transmedia navigation, judgment and negotiation.  The first project was the class wiki page, which required all of the students to work together and compare notes to complete the page.  This was where collective intelligence was used most.  Transmedia navigation was mostly worked with when the editing of the wiki page started.  Transmedia nagivation simply means the ability to follow the flow of stories, which was necessary when trying to piece together all of the different notes from the different students.  While working with the wiki students were also required to give examples and help to further learning by finding other outside sources.  In order to make sure these sources were reliable and had appropriate credibility the students had to use judgment.  The final course outcome that was worked with while completing the class wiki assignment was negotiation.  Since the majority of the wiki was completed outside of class without communication at all times students had to negotiate around the other content posted and work with and gather information in order to make all of the content match.  During the second project, which was the audio postcard, the following course outcomes were achieved; play, performance, appropriation, and distributed cognition.  One of the steps to complete the audio postcard was to find a picture and remix it to match the message being delivered.  In order to complete this step students were required to use appropriation.  Play was used when trying to determine which program would be best to edit the photo.  Play is the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem solving, which was done by students when sampling the different photo editing programs.  Once the right photo editing program was found students then used distributed cognition, which is having the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities, by finding tutorials online to learn the new program.  The final course outcome is performance, which was displayed when students took on the identity of photo editor in order to remix the photo.

Although all of the outcomes had their own specific purpose in the course there were a few that I continually revisited during my time in the course.  One outcome that I kept coming back to was the distributed cognition outcome.  This outcome basically means finding tools in order to expand knowledge.  I read up on or found tutorials several different times to learn how to use WordPress, researching further after the articles, and how to embed video into blogs.  Some course outcomes did not get as much attention as others.  The course outcome appropriation was actually one I really enjoyed working with, but only got to spend a very small amount of time on.  The idea of finding a piece of artwork such as a video or photo and reworking it to produce a new message is exciting to me and is something I’d like to continue to work with in the future.

While in the course I not only achieved several different course outcomes, but I also learned about different type of writing known as digital writing.  At first I thought digital writing was simply writing that took place in a digital space, but as the course progressed I learned that digital writing is actually much more than that.  Digital writing is not limited to only writing, but also expands to photos, videos, text messages, and emails.  Due to this new realization about what digital writing actually is I would have to say that I am more educated about the subject in hand.  I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the subject and would be able to give someone a basic introduction to the course if needed.

Rhetoric on the Town: Website

I choose to analyze the Virginian Pilot’s website


The main purpose behind this website is to inform the public of any local or world news.  It’s secondary purpose is to provide people with a digital copy of the Virginian Pilot if they do not receive the traditional newspaper at home.  It’s audience ranges from all ages, but I would say it’s main audience would be people from 16-70 mainly because of it’s technology.  The audience would most likely live in the area covered by the paper of could even be locals who have moved away and like to keep up to date on things happening in Virginia.  The educational background of the audience would most likely include people who had at least graduated high school or attended some high school, but could range to higher education levels as well.

copyright and attributions

The main website is copyrighted to and because they are the owners of the website.  Each story on the website is submitted by different reporters so the website is sure to give them credit at the top of the story along with whoever they are affiliated with.  Photos are treated the same way.  The photographer or artist is given credit for their work as well and in most cases this credit can be seen in the caption included with the photo.

The red box contains the website’s copyright information

design elements

In the above screenshot of the website several different design elements can been seen.  In the red box the design element of contrast can be seen.  This element works best here as the header because the word “” is larger and in a bolder font than everything else on the page.  Moving down to the green box the viewer gets the design element of repetition.  The different page titles are all in the same color, font size, and font type giving them unity.  The repetition design element works with page titles because all of the titles are portrayed as the same so the user is not influenced to click on any title unless it is something that they are interested in.  Under the green box you’ll see the pink box which represents emphasis.  Emphasis is placed on the “Latest News” link because it draws the eye of the viewer.  This design element of emphasis also works well here because most of the time when visiting a site like this the viewer is looking for the latest news so this cuts down the time they may be spending looking for it.  Now to alignment which is highlighted in the blue box.  The whole website displays alignment but this specific area has a photo to the left of the article.  The article summary and photo are about the same size because the tops and bottoms line up almost perfectly.  Last, but not least, is balance which is seen in the purple box.  Balance is displayed in the two columns and keeps the page from being nothing but a large box of text.


Project 3: Online Professional Identity/Resume Analysis

online professional identity

Project 3 Online Professional Identity

traditional resume

Traditional Resume

In the traditional resume one of the first things noticed is the header at the top.  I choose to include the header this way because it includes all of my contact information without taking up too much space in the resume.  The next decision I made was to have a line divider between the different areas of the resume.  This decision was made because it shows the reader where one section begins and another ends without having a bunch of white space.  Then the last big decision I made was to make everything on the resume left aligned except for the dates.  I feel like the most important information should not be broken up with the dates which they occurred.

scannable resume

Scannable Resume

For the scannable resume I pretty much used the same traditional resume with a few changes.  One noticeable change was that I took out the line dividers.  With scannable resumes there should only be font included.  Another decision I made was to change the bullets to asterisks because they are more appropriate and allow for easier reading.  Another decision that was made is the type of font used.  I used Arial which is a Sans Serif font because I feel that this type of font is cleaner due to the lack of serifs.

video resume

For the video resume I did a few things that I believe fit perfectly with the purpose.  I choose to use some ‘classical’ background music to grab the viewers attention, but not distract them from the message in the video.  In the video I choose to rely heavily on text to do the talking for me.  Since I’m looking to secure a job in the Technical Writing field I felt like using text to ‘speak’ for me was appropriate since the majority of my work is spent communicating through text.  The final decision I decided to make was to make the video resume with photos that symbolized what the text was saying instead of the video just being another talking head.

experience map

Link to experience map

The experience map was an experience in itself.  The first major decision that I made for the experience map was what I decided to use to make the actual map.  I decided to use Google Maps because I had no idea that it was possible to make your own map.  The second decision that was made for the map was changing the colors of the ‘lines.’  I changed the colors of the lines to match the ‘pins’ they lead to in hopes that it would make the make the map clearer to read.  The final decision that I made was with the descriptions of the pins.  In the descriptions I included information about when I arrived at that specific pin and what I learned, or courses that I completed at that pin.



While working on my Linkedin profile I started to see the importance of some parts of the profile and how other parts did not seem necessary.  One section I decided to work on was the skills and expertise section because if filled in people could find your profile by looking for people who have these skills, which could be important if an employer was looking for a specific skill.  Another section I filled out was education so potential employers would be aware of the degree and education I received.  The final decision I made was to include my past employment.  I decided to do this because I consider myself to be very hardworking and by including past employment it shows others that I have been employed and I’m able to hold down a job.

ENGL 380 – Jingle Bell Run/Walk Article

Walking through the Webb Center at Old Dominion University during activity hour you’re always guaranteed to find something interesting going on, but with the jingle of jingle bells everyone is drawn to one table.  At the table several students are handing out pizza, flyers, and candy canes.  There is also a laptop on the table where Facebook’s homepage is open.  What could all of this be about?

Flyer that students were asked to post a picture to Facebook or Instagram

It turns out to be a group of students gathering volunteers and participants for the upcoming Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis.  During the activity hour students from English 381, which is a Public Relations course offered at Old Dominion, were asking students to use different forms of social media to promote the event.  Students were asked to post a picture of the flyer to Facebook or Instagram or students could post a tweet to Twitter about the event.  If the students shared the event using one of the forms of social media they were rewarded with a free slice of pizza.  Was the bribe of free pizza effective?  According to Aleasa Whitaker she thought it was “really effective that we had free pizza.”  Aleasa Whitaker said they had purchased some 96 slices of pizza and all were gone by the end of activity hour.  Therefore the event was shared at least 96 times by using social media.

Arthritis Foundation flyer

The event has been hosted by Old Dominion for the past few years and helps to gain awareness and money to help fight arthritis.  Old Dominion partners up with the Arthritis Foundation to host the run/walk on campus during the end of the year.  The Arthritis Foundation works to research for treatment, risk factors, and new sciences to improve the lives of people who suffer.  The foundation also works to change the lives of people affected and works to get more funding from the government.


The event is this Saturday, December 1.  The Reindeer Run starts at 7:30am followed by the 5k Chip-timed Run at 8:00am and the 3k Walk at 8:15am.  Be sure to wear your holiday gear and be full of holiday cheer!


Project 3: Brainstorming

When it comes to video resumes it seems like people have differing views.  There’s one group of people urging people to get out there, use the technology available, and make them!  While others are saying they give the company to much to judge on, are often poorly made, and are more comedy then serious.  Therefore I’ve learned that there are few important things to remember when it comes to making a video resume:

  • Look the part: Be sure to dress appropriately just like I was going on a regular interview
  • Be sure to make it short and sweet: When recruiters read a resume they can flip through it at their own pace and the video should not be long either
  • Make the video count: If you’re making a video resume it needs to discuss things that are not normally listed on your resume.  The recruiter needs to feel like they benefited from the video resume otherwise you could have just sent a paper resume.

What is the key “message” (or two) you want readers to glean from these resumes?  Obviously my main message behind my resume is that I want the readers to see me as a valuable addition to their company.  With any resume I produce I always have the main intent of convincing the reader that I’m the perfect match for the position.

What details do you need to include for the reader to understand your message?  It’s not necessarily a ‘detail,’ but one aspect I try to include in my resumes is confidence.  I want the reader to know that I know what I’m talking about.  Another detail that is included is professionalism.  It’s important for the first impression of yourself to be a good, rememberable one.  I proofread my resumes, and get others to proofread my resumes to make sure they are free of spelling and grammar errors and to also make sure that everyone is easy to read and understand.

What images and other content might you include (especially content you can not normally include in a regular resume)?  For the timeline/map and video I hope to be able to include content that will help me out in the long run with coming across as a desirable candidate.  In the timeline/map I will include ALL work experience, both related and unrelated, which is not normally included in a resume.  Most resumes only include most recent or the past work experience that is related.  Including all work experience gives the employer an idea of what I’ve done in the past and what I have been able to take away from my past positions.  Including this information in the timeline also gives the employer the chance to just ‘glance’ over the material instead of having flip from page to page.

Chapter 10/11 What does your font choice say about you?

I actually found these chapters to be very interesting when they were describing the different tones portrayed by the different fonts.

When it comes to fonts that describe me both personally and professionally I would end up choosing the same fonts.  I tend to choose fonts from the Sans Serif family mainly because they have a clean look to them.  With other fonts there are often cupped serifs on some letters.  Whereas with Sans Serif, which literally means “without serifs” there are no serifs just “squared off terminals”. Another reason I often choose Sans Serif is due to the spacing.  I like the fact that the spacing of letters is close enough not to have a bunch of whitespace.

While looking at some different fonts on the Internet I came across an interesting article which talks about spacing at the end of sentences.  This relates to fonts because if a font has more spacing between letters it may require that extra space be left between sentences so the reader knows when they have reached the end of a sentence.

Project 2: Final Draft

project description:

How do you invasion the rhetorical situation for this project? What is the purpose? Who is the audience? What are relative aspects of the context?

The purpose for this project is to enlighten people or refresh people’s memory on what digital writing is.  Since the professor mentioned showing this audio postcard around for next year the main audience will most likely be students who are interested in taking the course during it’s next offering.  Another smaller audience could be someone enrolled in another digital writing course who is simply surfing the internet looking for outside sources.  In the end the largest audience for this project is going to be students.

Describe at least 3 ways in which you edited the image you used for your audio postcard.

To start off I decided to edit the image using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, which is similar to PhotoShop Express Editor except Adobe PhotoShop Elements offers more options as far as photo editing goes.  The first way I edited my photo was by using an effect called ‘photo stacking,’ which takes a single photo and breaks it into several smaller snapshots to make it resemble a collage.  Next, I used another effect option called ‘blur’ to help the image fall into the background.  The final way I edited the image was by adding text.  The text was able to stand out thanks to the ‘blur’ effect because it kept the background image from being too busy.

What elements of your audio postcard were you required to provide some form of citation. How did you cite it? Why does that citation format best meet the needs of your rhetorical situation?

First, I had to find an image that allowed for remixing so I used Compfight to locate the image.  I was then required to give credit to the original owner of the image and I gave credit to the owner in the description of the YouTube video.  The citation was as simple as a link to the original photo that I found on Flickr.  In this case since I did not actually make a movie and used a still image I felt that including the citation in the project description worked best rather than throwing in another image at the end to include the citation.

Why and how do at least 3 aspects of your audio file (at least one of which must be an aspect of the audio/aural nature of the file) meet the rhetoric situation?

The rhetoric situation for this project is to teach and inform the audience.  The first way the audio file meets this aspect is by providing the audience with a general definition of what digital writing is.  Second, the audio file provides examples of digital writing which helps the audience draw a connection with the definition.  The third way the audio file meets the rhetoric situation is because it is straight forward.  The audio is not crowded with a bunch of background noise that may distract the audience.

Why and how do at least 3 aspects of your image (at least one of which much be an edited aspect of the image) meet the rhetorical situation?

One of the purposes of the project was to possibly gather interest for the course next time it was offered so the image meets this by being eye catching.  The bright colors and zig zag lines draw the viewer’s eyes and makes them interested in what is going on.  Another way the image helps the situation is by representing the writing in the digital world.  Digital writing is everywhere and sometimes has no rhyme or reason, which can be seen in the blurred lines in the image.  The last way the image meets the situation is how it was edited.  I used the ‘blur’ option to tone it down a bit in order to add the phrase “Digital Writing” so that the audience would have an idea of what the image was dealing with.

reflective letter:

What are you most proud of in the entire project?

Honestly the entire project is something I am proud of, but if I have to narrow it down to one thing it would have to be adding the audio to the image.  I’ve had some practice with editing images before so it was really neat to be able to add the audio along with the image.

What do you wish you had time to further expand, include, or revise in the project?

Overall I felt the project turned out well, but if I would have had more time I probably would have worked more on the editing of the image.  Although the image did turn out well I feel like I still could have done more to get it up to par.

What technologies did you use to complete this project? Why were they appropriate?

For the audio I used Audacity which was really easy to understand and made recording the audio clip simple.  I used Adobe PhotoShop Elements 11 to edit the image.  I went with this version of PhotoShop because it offered a few more options for photo effects than PhotoShop Express Editor, but wasn’t overwhelming like the full version of PhotoShop was.  To put the audio together with the image I used iMovie because I was able to find easy to follow instructions on YouTube about how to convert and upload the project when I was finished.

When did you get stuck while working on the project? How did you overcome your problem?

I ran into problems when it came time to actually editing my image.  I had all of these great ideas, but when it came down to actually making them work I had some issues.  Ultimately in order to get over this little speed bump I just explored the options offered within the program until I had the image edited close to what I originally had in mind.

What did you learn about yourself as a digital writer?
Discuss at least three of the course outcomes you feel you worked towards with this assignment. Provide evidence of your learning by pointing to specific aspects of the project.

The main course outcome that was addressed was appropriation, which requires one to remix content.  This outcome was satisfied because the main part of the project was to find an image with a creative commons license and edit, or remix.



Original Image

Remixed Image




The next course outcome addressed during this project was multitasking, which means having the ability to see what’s going on and focus on the most important details. This outcome was an important one because during almost every aspect of the project I was working on more than one thing.  When I was selecting an image I was thinking about how to edit it, and then when I was editing a photo I was thinking about how to add text onto the image.

The third and final course outcome that was touched on while working on this project was networking because I was required to look into outside sources to find programs to use and also to find tutorials on how to use the programs of choice.

Rhetoric on the Town: Flow

Pedigree Puppy Food Advertisement

rhetorical analysis:

The main purpose for this advertisement is to promote the sale of Pedigree dog food.  The advertisement is not specific about which Pedigree product they are trying to advertisement for, but the fact that there is a puppy on the top of the billboard most likely means they are trying to promote the sale of their puppy food line.  The main audience for this ad is obviously new dog owners or people who own dogs in general.  Another possible audience for the ad is possibly someone looking to buy a dog since the phrase “dogs rule” is located in the middle of the billboard.

design element analysis:

The main design element seen in the advertisement would have to be flow.  At first the viewer’s eyes are drawn to the puppy which seems to be ‘laying’ on top of the billboard.  The viewer then follows the puppy’s paw down to the middle where the phrase “dogs rule” is located.  At the end of the phrase the viewer then notices the bright yellow bag of dog food located down in the bottom right.  This advertisement seems to follow the natural flow of left to right.

Blog Responses

After viewing my classmates examples on their blogs I noticed a few things.  The first thing I noticed is that balance can be viewed in a few different ways.  I noticed this because at first a few advertisements did not seem like they had balance in it, but after reading their explanations I was able to see where the author was going.  Another thing I noticed while looking through my classmates blogs is that with contrast colors were most commonly mentioned.  Most blogs mentioned that colors really worked best as contrast elements.

links to comments:

Contrast Comment 1

Contrast Comment 2

Alignment Comment 1

Alignment Comment 2

Balance Comment 1              Balance Comment 2

Your Online Identity and Why it Matters


Ever since the explosion of the social media online people have been concerned about what they were posting online and how it may effect them later on in life.  For many people, especially people in college, they are concerned that what they post on their ‘private’ online social media site may determine if a company hires them for a position or not.  In fact sometimes people should worry because a quick Google search can reveal a lot about a person, but in all honesty the search engines companies use are not looking to destroy any future career plans.  According to Honan in his article on privacy these search engines are only looking for evidence that may cause legal problems for companies and tend to ignore drunken late night photos.  In the end companies are looking to eliminate possible risks by conducting online searches, but there are ways to find these red flags and eliminate them yourself before your potential employer may find them.

key terms:

Social Intelligence – outside source used by companies to search social media content and evaluate the content based on predetermined criteria

Social Media – websites and applications used for social networking


Managing Your Reputation Through Search Results

I Flunked My Social Media Background Check. Will You?