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.