Lesson Plan: Soundscape Narration

Michael O'Brien

Lesson Plans

With audio technology becoming both more advanced and also more affordable, the options for understanding and exploring the ways in which sound and image interact with one another are becoming ever more practically available. Historically, many film directors have been fascinated with the possibilities of different approaches to the use of sound in their work. Famed Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein saw the possibility of a sound-film conflict, one that could create new meanings not inherent to either component individually. French

Lesson Plan: Genre and Music

Kevin Schaeffner

Lesson Plans

In Carolyn Miller’s foundational text in Rhetorical Genre Studies, “Genre as Social Action,” (1984) she asserts the utility in studying “homely discourses.” Examining the quotidian genres we interact with on a daily basis does not “trivialize the study of genres,” Miller states, but it actually “take[s] seriously the rhetoric in which we find ourselves immersed.” This assignment encourages students to take seriously the rhetorical considerations of a non-literary genre that they often encounter: popular music. Music critic and historian David

Sounding Images and Imaging Sound

Justin Hatch

Lesson Plans

Image and code from wired.com Ferdinand Saussure provided a framework and vocabulary that can be applied in composition classrooms to understand the “arbitrary” nature of representational forms including sound and image. He famously gave us the vocabulary of semiotics including the “signifier” and “signified” within a framework that leaves meaning as a function of context. By having students explore image and sound as both signified and signifier, this lesson plan demonstrates for students the complexity of representation and meaning-making when

Lesson Plan: Failure Interviews

Marnie Ritchie

Lesson Plans

Image Public Domain, Flickr The goal of this lesson is for students to interview someone who has failed at something—in a small or large, invisible or spectacular way. Typically, when we conduct interviews, we target experts within a field who can dispense some knowledge for our imagined audience. For this lesson plan, students collapse the hierarchy of knowing-subject-to-unknowing-audience. Failure is often hidden from others; it does not show up in our resumes, and it is difficult to disclose in public

Lesson Plan: PlayStation VR

J Brentlinger

Devices, Lesson Plans

This lesson plan is an easy one to conduct: let your students play with the PlayStation 4 VR suite from the DWRL, and then encourage them to talk about the experience! Sounds simple, right? It is! But the scholarship the lesson produces is anything BUT simple. Interacting with this lesson allows students to engage with many areas of scholarship. Examples include: The following lesson plan uses Isbister’s book as an example. This lesson challenges students to experience something new (Virtual

Wearables Lesson Plan: Yelp

Reinhard Mueller

Devices, Lesson Plans, Locative Media, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

This is a picture of the Yelp logo with a symbolic scale in the background indicating the lawsuits against Yelp. The picture is mostly in red, the scale in the background is in black. The letters and the Yelp logo are mostly in white.

Yelp is a virtual marketplace that has been shaping our spatial orientation for many years, since it was founded in 2004 and has increasingly expanded worldwide since 2009. Despite its vast impact on our daily life, its digital rhetoric has hardly been researched and is usually taken for granted without further critical awareness. In a 2013 survey, the Boston Consulting Group found that only 15% of 4,800 interviewed small business knew that they had a free Yelp profile and that

Lesson Plan: Filter Bubbles


Assignments, Lesson Plans, Social Media

We constantly consume media — whether television, internet, or radio. According to Pew, a whopping 62% of adults get their news from social media. This is troubling, considering the pervasive filter bubble; depending on our interests, social media and search engines filter their results to match our preferences. Hence the bubble. The Wall Street Journal has illustrated this phenomenon. Why does this matter? The media we consume can define almost every aspect of our lives — from who we associate

Lesson Plan: Visualizing Difference with Tableau Public

Mac Scott

Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools, Uncategorized

In his much referenced TED Talk, David McCandless says that “if you start working with [data] and playing with it in a certain way, interesting things can appear and different patterns can be revealed” (5:57-6:14). And Virginia Kuhn argues that there are “two main uses for information visualization: discovery and representation.” With this in mind, data visualization software can certainly be a productive tool for research and invention. We can begin to identify patterns in what might otherwise be a

Lesson Plan: Using Siri to Teach the Ethics of Digital Labor


Devices, Lesson Plans

The rapid rate by which technology replaces and outdates itself has been measured since 1965 by Moore’s Law, which dictates that the amount of transistors within a integrated circut (microchip) doubles approximately every two years. Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, has predicted that the viability of his projection will cease in 2025, and since 2012, there has been a consistent slowing down between circuit transistor “doublings”. However, according to research on the physical limits of computation, a predictive model based

Lesson Plan: Visualizing Sound by Captioning Nonspeech Sounds

Matt Breece

Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

Although closed-captioning is usually thought of in terms of accessibility, it also highlights the larger rhetorical significance of sound—a significance which is most notably taken up in sound studies. The convergence of rhetoric with sound studies has become increasingly salient to rhetorical theory as noted in the review essay “Auscultating Again: Rhetoric and Sound Studies” from RSQ. Sound in the multimodal classroom has likewise become a relevant site for rhetorical instruction, invention, and exploration. Scholars like Cynthia Selfe, Erin Anderson,