The Learning Essay

How to prepare a learning essay:

In class today (or after completing your final project), please compose and publish a hypertextual learning essay of 700 to 900 words that provides a tour of your websites, describing the process of learning and which links to relevant pages on your own site and those of others in the class who you think you learned from or you find exemplary.

Add a link on your schoolwork or main page to the first page of your learning essay. (While you're at it, you may want to link your project front page to the class syllabus, my home page, and to your own personal home page.) During class I'll meet with individuals to discuss final revisions.

You can consider discussing the following:

*Try to point out how your hypertext composition has evolved from your experience with the personal site through to the final project. Describe changes that you made in between drafts and versions.

* Discuss the ways that composing the hypertext and doing other elements of the assignment series (annotated bibliography, review of the literature) affected your creation of the printable version. Was it easier, more difficult, or about the same than other writing projects? In what ways? And vice versa: how did creating the printable version affect the final revision of the website? Did you add pages to the website based on the revised writing you did for the printable research essay?

*Please describe the civic-engagement ambitions of your website, using your class reading, especially Juris and Castells.

*Examine the "critical thinking" rubrics page. Do any of the descriptions of "critical thinking" apply to your experience of composing hypertext? If so, which ones? Why? Specifically, which aspects of the composing process are most relevant to which parts of the "critical thinking" process? Does your engagement in these elements differ in some ways from your writing habits before you took this class or composed hypertextually?

*What are some of the things you've learned in the class? How can you use what you've learned in other classes, at work, or in relation to activities and interests?

*Do you feel that your civic-engagement website is something that someone affected by the issue you discuss would recommend to someone else? Why or why not? Who else does your site reach?

*Have your ideas regarding hypertextual composing and/or research writing changed over the course of the term?

* Did any of the class readings affect your idea of authorship and/or the ownership of intellectual property? What about the other themes of the course?

*How did you make your decisions regarding document design?

*If you were to continue working on your site, what would you do? What would your _next_ website look like?

*Is there another one of your classes where a website composing final project would be a good idea? Which one and why?

Also you will want to describe your major prospect in material terms:

How many projects are on your site? For your major project, how many individual pages does it include? About how many internal links does it have per page on average? How many external links? How many words of your own writing does it include? (Count the review of the literature, but not annotated bibliography in the total of your own writing, and count the printable research essay separately.) FOR EXAMPLE: "My site comprises fourteen web pages, averaging three internal links per page, plus a navigation bar of seven standard links. There are twelve external links on the site. It includes 2200 words of my own writing, plus a 1650-word printable research essay based on the site, and an 11-item annotated bibliography with links to five online resources and descriptions of six library-based resources.


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