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English CTW 2: Spring 2010
A&S 128, the journalism lab

In part 1 of this sequence we examined the possibilities of hypertext for academic writing, including research writing. We explored the tension between writing as argument and writing as participating in professional and academic conversation (knowledge production).

We created annotated bibliographies, reviews of scholarly literature, and academic projects that aimed to make a modest original contribution to the scholarly conversation, typically by providing original research, proposing a new solution, or creating a new communications tool.

We developed and presented all of this research-driven academic writing hypertextually, developing printable versions in the form of a traditional research essay. These printable versions were occasions for significant revision of the language of the hypertext: the linear and nonlinear writing typically contributed meaningfully to each other.

Part 2 looks beyond hypertext to explore the prospects of a wide variety of new media technologies for the digital composition of academic writing. We'll begin by remixing Cory Doctorow's novel Little Brother in machinima (animated film) shot in the Second Life virtual community.

We'll also make use of new media for assisted creativity, such as the Bitstrips comic builder, the Xtranormal text-to-video animator, the Glogster poster maker, and music creators like JamStudio.

We're also going to try a unique peer-response and collaboration tool specifically designed for digital composition, Voicethread

ASSIGNMENTS. You'll revise each of your major efforts in response to feedback from me, from teaching assistants, technology trainers, other students and, possibly, from viewers of your projects online.

Remixes and Machinima. You'll use assisted-creativity technology to remix Little Brother in a variety of ways, including comics and cartoons, fan fiction, and a screenplay leading to producing a machinima (animated film) by using screen capture inside Second Life. and Informal Writing. Equiv. 10-15 pages.

Annotated Bibliography and Review of the Literature. This two-part assignment is still the most important thing you'll learn in this class: how to enter an academic conversation.

As before, your task is to summarize the observations and standpoints of scholars, leading to an area where a question has not been asked or where solutions are being hotly debated.

In this case, you'll be reviewing the literature on a question raised by Cory Doctorow's novel. You might approach this by way of themes raised by the book: the tension between our desires for liberty and security, the rights of young people, the uses or abuses of information technology, etc. You must use the library databases to review the literature in a particular discipline, such as political philosophy or sociology. You might choose to analyze the novel as a new media artifact and use the communications databases. Or you could look at it as a novel--say, as a young adult novel, or as a book that intentionally evokes Orwell's 1984--and use the MLA database, for instance. You must annotate and review at least ten sources, five of them from a scholarly database.

Your focus is on the ways that Doctorow's effort raises an unresolved or unexplored question to which it seems he hopes to make a unique contribution. (500-700 words each).

Analytical hypertext. This is an academic website comprised of at least 3000 words, spread out over at least sixteen web pages hyperlinked together. Two revisions, including a printable 8-10 page paper.

The goal of this hypertext is to analyze Cory Doctorow's Little Brother in the context of the scholarly literature you surveyed. In what ways does Doctorow provide an original contribution? Does the novel offer a unique analysis or solution to the problem you've discussed, or raise issues that others have neglected? How successful is the novel in those terms? Are there ways that your own experience, or the research that you did, either supports or raises questions about Doctorow's notions?

Remix hypertext, with reflection. This is a hypertext of at least 3000 words that remixes Little Brother in a significant, original way. It can incorporate, adapt, or extend any or all of your previous remixes, or none of them. It can embed the machinima that you worked on, or those of your classmates, or none at all. It should display thoughtful, critical understanding of the text and related issues. It should employ multiple voices and genres, and yet have a sense of coherence and feel well designed and usable. Most of all, it should be a lively, effective, original work. At least 1,000 words of the remix hypertext should consist of a learning essay that traverses both quarters of the class. You can do a remix that does not involve a lot of orginal writing, such as a song or music video. In that case the other two thousand words of your own writing could be an introduction and discussion of the creative process, etc. Two revisions, plus a reflective component (the learning essay).

Informal Writing. Includes in-class writing, peer response, brief response essays and other homework, as well as meaningful participation in online discussion forums.

In preparation for some of our class discussions of homework reading, you will be expected to participate in informal online writing about the reading, possibly using such diverse technologies as weblogs, wikis, social media, and synchronous small-group discussions in online environments.

FEEDBACK AND GRADING. Because this is a practicum, you should expect to have direct, personal feedback from me in class meetings at least every other week.

In addition, we will have at least two required conferences outside of class time and I am always available for help and additional feedback.

Technology specialists have special lab hours designated for individual assistance with the technological aspects of your work.

At the end of the term, you’ll prepare a hypertext letter (a learning essay) linking to your web-published class work and discussing what you’ve learned.

If you like, you can also send me an email proposing a final grade, based on assessment criteria we’ll develop over the course of the term.

I'm always available to talk if you have questions about your grade and will always take time to help you figure out how to do as well as possible.

My approach to grading is holistic.

In other words, I prefer to take all of the assignments together, including participation, and consider the context of your personal goals for the class, your growth as a writer and, especially, your self-assessment.

There are many good things about this approach: most people feel that it’s fair and they appreciate that it’s individualized, and they usually like that I take their opinions seriously.

Most people also feel that it helps to keep the focus on the writing process. On the negative side, we sometimes prefer what feels like the clarity, simplicity, and familiarity of a universal grading rubric that focuses on the results of your efforts: (“A C paper fulfills the assignment, but lacks sophistication,” etc).

My way of handling that is to ask you to develop a set of goals for yourself this quarter, and to describe the way those goals connect to the sort of grading possibilities you envision for yourself.

You’ll share those goals and ideas with others and with me, in writing and in conference, and those exchanges may motivate you to revise your goals.

Eventually that statement will be part of your portfolio: your concluding letter will reflect on the work you’ve done and on your goals.

While I retain full responsibility for assessing your final grade, I take your assessments and any proposals regarding your grade seriously.

In most cases where there appears the possibility of a substantially different assessment, or in cases where you feel that you haven’t been meeting your goals for a variety of reasons, you can request (or I may suggest) extra credit activities.

Outcomes, attendance, academic integrity, and disability accommodation. Together with various faculty and administrators, the university provost has prepared standardized learning outcomes and course descriptions for courses that fit into the core curriculum. I've provided those relevant to this class on a separate sheet. In general, these goals reflect national norms for classes of this kind, as summarized in the CWPA statement that you’ll find on the reverse side of the provost's guidelines.

My version of this class, as indicated by the description and title, emphasizes the opportunities represented by composing in electronic environments--a section added to national learning outcomes over a decade ago, and especially important to professionals and students in the Silicon Valley.

Because of the participatory and hands-on nature of the learning you'll do in this class, I suggest that you miss no more than 2 class meetings (ie, 10% of our term), and arrive late no more than twice.

Unexcused attendence problems beyond these guidelines will be reflected by a reduction in your final grade (usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 letter grades); attendance issues affecting 30% of scheduled classes (that's 6 sessions) will generally result in a failing grade.

If you feel the need to consult a handbook, there are numerous online resources available through any search engine.

If I raise usage issues with you, you may want to get to know your fellow undergraduates offering free tutoring at the campus writing center.

SCU maintains a detailed policy on academic integrity that applies to this course and which you may consult in the University Bulletin or on the Provost's web site.

Students who experience a circumstance or condition that may affect their ability to complete assignments or otherwise satisfy course criteria are encouraged to meet with me to identify, discuss, and document any feasible instructional modifications or accommodations.

You may contact the Disabilities Resource Center in 214 Benson (extension 4111, TTY ext 5445).

Any other issues? Please email or drop by the office to talk.

 

 

The CamSwigCrew:
Michael Adair Andrew Agcaoili Thomas Allen Katie Bobbin Bri Cassara Caitlin Cutting Julia Drimmer Andrew Dugoni Marie Galetto Bonnie Given Lindsay Grove Brandon Rebboah Mirella Villalpando Will Burke Sarana Chen Talbot Clarke Douglas Damrow Lindsey Evans Donnie Green Will Lynch Briana MacDonald Chase McDowell Allison McPartland Anthony Mejia Julia Mink Alec Molloy Rebecca Murillo Juliana Onieal Kusi Peralta Josh Ronen Michael Schubert Niyi Harrison

Remixing Little Brother. In this class, we'll build three major projects: an analytical hypertext, a remix hypertext, and a machinima-style animated film. While we'll be using some new programs, much of what we're doing will be familiar to you from the first term. I've built in lots of revision opportunities to help you create finished, highly presentable final efforts.

The films are a group project for which we've set aside three and a half weeks: you'll need to mark your calendars and be fully available to your groups, especially during the actual filming May 14-20. If for any reason you fail to fully participate, you will have to do a substantial independent project in order to complete the course requirements.

Things you'll need. You should purchase a flash drive to store your work in progress. You will be making frequent use of html editing software, principally Macromedia's Dreamweaver Studio 8, which is available for free use in several on-campus labs. Some of our reading will be available online. However, you should own a paper copy of Cory Doctorow's Little Brother.

People You Need to Know. This term we are working with the support of Gloria Hofer ghofer@scu.edu , James Linehan jlinehan@scu.edu, and Michael Ballen mballen@scu.edu in Media Services. They will offer required out of class training sessions in screen capture, video production, and navigating Second Life. They'll be generously available during the period reserved for machinima production.

With respect to Dreamweaver and publishing issues you can continue to get help from Technology Training, which offers drop-in personal assistance at the library's Help Desk/Multimedia Lab every Sunday through Thursday evening from 7 to 10 pm, They are also available Tuesday afternoons from 145 to 330 in room 203. The assistants are specifically trained and prepared to support you in completing the web-publishing assignments for this class The assistant may be working in the lab with someone else when you drop in. Just ask around the room until you find the persons on duty. If after making a reasonable effort to locate the attendant, you are unable to get assistance please email Teri Escobar-Ochoa, Technology Training Specialist at tescobar@scu.edu.

Week 1
Tuesday. Remixing, fan fiction, and machinima. What is participatory culture? View in class: Star Trek Meets Monty Python and (remix) One Week: Literal Video. Stephen Colbert's' Remix Challenge with remixes by Eclectic Method,LudachristMastgrrrAlexxx, and EmJ's This is Artistic Socialism. Abigail de Kosnik, Fan Labor as Paid Labor? 

Thursday. Discuss Little Brother chs 1-5. Homework: create a Bitstrips account and do a fan-fiction cartoon or graphic-novel interpretation of Little Brother. Embed a link to your work in the class blog with a 100-word discussion.

Week 2 Tuesday. Discuss Little Brother chs 6-10. Homework: Download the Comic Life demo or a free version and create a different interpretation of Little Brother. Embed a link to your work in the class blog with a 100-word discussion. If you like, borrow and transform some of your classmates' ideas, linking back to their work in your discussion.

Thursday. Discuss Little Brother chs 11-15. Homework: create any kind of remix of Little Brother you like: write a piece of fan fiction, a poem or song, a long cartoon, and publish it to your SCU ftp account. You can develop one of your earlier cartoons if you like. Embed a link to your work in the class blog with a 100-word discussion. If you like, borrow and transform some of your classmates' ideas, linking back to their work in your discussion.

Week 3 Tuesday. Discuss Little Brother chs 16-21. Homework: brainstorm topic ideas for your research hypertext and publish a 100-word topic proposal to the class blog.

Thursday.
Topics workshop. Refresher: how to create annotated bibliographies and literature review.

Week 4 Tuesday. Annotated bibliography and review of literature due. Publish both to your ftp site and then create a SUBSTANTIAL and THOUGHTFUL visual representation of the lit review using Glogster, a posterizing program. Do the poster of the lit review AFTER the linear revision, but feel free to revise the linear revision after completing the poster. The lit review is 500-700 words. The poster can use some of the same words and fewer of them. The purpose of the poster is to check on the success of your lit review--it should be easy to visually represent a good lit review--and to help you get started on the visual strategies for your site. During class: peer response, feedback, refresher on composing for hypertext.

Thursday. Splash page and three linked pages due. Presentations, peer response, feedback.

Week 5 Tuesday. Complete analytical hypertext due. Presentations, peer response, feedback. In class: view What are Machinima? and Computer Girl, plus American Film Institute's Pre-Writing.

Homework: follow links on the machinima resources page to view 10-12 machinima and take a look at the screenplays featured in the WGA's 101 Greatest Screenplays and David Lemon's Seven Scripts You Gotta Read. Write a 500-word discussion of what inspired you in these films and screenplays, plus an idea or two for your own Little-Brother inspired machinima; publish your discussion to the class blog.

Thursday. Revised hypertext due. In class workshop: American Film Institute's Outline & Treatment and The Pitch; Alex Epstein's Three Most Important Things, Angela Paton's Building Satisfying Plots, Script Frenzy's Intro to Screenwriting & How to Format a Screenplay, Ian Abrams, Guide to Screenplay Formatting, mypdfscripts.com, dailyscript.com, and Drew's Script-O-Rama. Required progress meetings in my office.

Homework: Prepare a machinima story pitch (examples) by reading and completing these worksheets: Casting Your Characters, Creating Conflict, and Outlining Your Script. Publish your 400-word pitch and completed worksheets to your website. Optional: you may choose to use free scriptwriting software such as Celt-X. Even easier is this simple screenplay template for MS Word.

Week 6 Tuesday. Revised hypertext with linear version due. In class: machinima story pitches, workshop on dialogue, description, beginnings and endings, writing shorts, scene analysis, and scene-by-scene outlines. American Film Institute's Scriptwriting and Storyboarding. Lots more screenwriting worksheets and many more books and websites.

Thursday. Detailed machinima scene-by-scene outline (example and another example) due (800 words, plus first two pages of screenplay, published to website.) Workshop, introduction to Voicethread. American Film Institute's Roles and Responsibilities, Pre-Production, and Making a Good Movie.

Homework: complete your screenplay, output it as a pdf file, publish it to your website, and embed a link to your work in the class blog with a 100-word discussion.

Required during week 6: Gloria Hofer and/or Mike Ballen will conduct 3-hour out of class introductions to software (screen capture, editing) and navigating Second Life (focussing on location scouting, acquisition of props and scripts for animating avatars.) MARK YOUR CALENDARS: you must attend one of these sessions:

T        5/4  4:00-7:00 PM
W       5/5  5:30-8:30 PM
Th      5/6  5:30-8:30 PM

Week 7 Tuesday. Meets in Harrington Multimedia Lab. Complete screenplay due (8-10 pages). In class: my feedback and peer response using voicethread. American Film Institute on editing part one, part two and part three. Discussion of shot angles and shot planning. Introduction to the Xtranormal text-to-video animator. Use Xtranormal to test and revise your screenplay. Homework: revised screenplays due by Wednesday midnight, absolutely no exceptions.

Thursday. Meets in Harrington Multimedia Lab. Production groups form and primary responsibilities assigned (shooting script, location scout, voice casting director, animation codes, props, director, editor, sound fx & music producer, etc. Discussion of shooting script, wardrobe, animation needs, budgeting, etc. (The person responsible for each shooting script will block out the film using Xtranormal that night.) Film production begins the next day, Friday, May 14 with group viewing of Xtranormal sketch, followed by development of a shot plan detailing needs for props, animation code, locations, etc. From the shot plan, groups will generate lists of individual responsibility for pre-production during the weekend before principal photography. Actual filming will normally begin no later than Monday May 17 and wrap by the morning of May 20.

Sample shooting scripts: There Will Be Blood Memento Ferris Bueller's Day Off On the Waterfront Matchstick Men 2001: A Space Odyssey Cinema Paradiso Dr Zhivago The Duchess

Week 8 Production week. Meet in Harrington Multimedia Lab. I'll observe work in progress during class hours and give feedback. You will need to plan additional hours. All footage MUST be completely shot before class on Thursday, May 20 to allow time for editing, sound, etc. Be sure to SAVE copies of your captured footage on an external hard drive in case you need to additional editing. Publish completed films to Youtube by Monday, May 24 at midnight. (Again, no exceptions, so mark your calendars.)

Week 9 Tuesday. Screen completed films, class machinima awards. Approval of remix hypertext proposals.

Thursday. Splash page, three linked pages due for your remix hypertext. Workshop.

Resources: Organization for Transformative WorksFanloreRemix America,  Fan Fiction index. Lev Manovich, Models of Authorship in New Media and Lawrence Lessig, Creators. Jonathan Coulton's letter for Creative Commons plus these animations of his song Code Monkey, as well as this fan tribute video. Interview with Geoffrey Long in the OTW journal, Transformative Works and Cultures.

Week 10 Tuesday. First 2000 words of remix hypertext due, presentations, peer response, feedback.

Thursday. Revised first 2000 words of remix hypertext due, minus multimedia and/or reflective component (1000-word learning essay). The completed project is due by 5pm Thursday June 10, when residence halls close for the summer.




   

 

 

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