Lesson Plan: Visualizing Difference with Tableau Public

Mac Scott

Lesson Plans

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

Andrew Heermans

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

Lesson Plans

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,

Lesson Plan: Assessing Reliability and Trustworthiness with/in Blockchains

E.R. Emison

Data, Lesson Plans

Can you hear that? A certain high frequency hum which, until recently, was perceptible only to dogs, bats, and cryptography cognoscenti? It’s the mounting buzz over “blockchain”—an umbrella term referring to a number of shared ledger services that promise to revolutionize every aspect of social and political exchange, from financial transactions to medical data, voter registration to birth certificates. Due in large part to the way they address the twinned threats of system failure and malicious users which plague our

Lesson Plan: Teaching Research with Sam Barlow’s Her Story

Cole Wehrle

Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Usually when video games appear in the college classroom, they are objects of analysis. We critique them as if they were a book or a movie. But, in teaching their content, we rob them of their pedagogic potency. Games facilitate play, and by offering teachers new and unfamiliar decision spaces, games can be used to support and expand how we teach writing and research. This lesson uses Sam Barlow‘s 2015 game, Her Story, to help students master the core skills

Lesson Plan: viewing>writing>listening Pedagogical Versions of Access

Sierra Mendez

Lesson Plans

Existentially, this lesson plan is about challenging student conceptions of information dissemination and questioning notions of universality embedded in web narratives of access. We like to think of the internet as a democratic space of unlimited maneuverability. But for many users, it is not. Here, we want students to consider the overwhelming prominence of visual, picture-based knowledge and ask who is excluded? Who cannot move freely in this space? Who is not granted access? Effectively, this assignment asks students to

Lesson Plan: Fake News

Marnie Ritchie

Lesson Plans, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

Weekly World News covers featuring a bat child and Hillary Clinton with an alien baby

Friedrich Nietzsche famously wrote in On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense that truth is “a movable host of metaphors, metonymies, and anthropomorphisms: in short, a sum of human relations which have been poetically and rhetorically intensified, transferred, and embellished, and which, after long usage, seem to a people to be fixed, canonical, and binding.” He likens truths to coins that have lost their embellishment. Given the complicated, contemporary industry of “fake news” (defined as news media with misleading,

Lesson Plan: The Ethics of Virtual Reality

Shaherzad Ahmadi

Lesson Plans

In this lesson plan, students consider the ethical questions surrounding violence in virtual reality. By reading about the 1990s debate regarding the power of video games to produce violence in the real world, they discover that these are old questions that take on new urgency in the age of virtual reality. Students engage with an intellectual debate that played out in popular discourse. They articulate an opinion based on the information. By experiencing virtual reality (VR), students discern the difference

Lesson Plan: Advanced Piktochart

Reinhard Mueller

Lesson Plans

This image depicts the Piktochart logo, which is a big capital "P." It is followed by the word "Piktochart," where the letters "Pikto" are in bold print. Under "Piktochart," it says "make information beautiful."

Over the last “decades a revolution has taken place in the area of communication”: a revolution that has “dislodged written language from its centrality which it has held […] in public communication.” Gunther Kress observes that in this foundational shift towards more diverse modes of communication, visual media have gained most prominently in “many areas of public communication.” Despite this prominence, Kress agued already in 2000 that “the implications of this shift have not in any sense begun to be

Lesson Plan: Digital Reproduction

J Brentlinger

Devices, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

In 1935 Walter Benjamin wrote, “Around 1900 technical reproduction had reached a standard that not only permitted it to reproduce all transmitted works of art and thus to cause the most profound change in their impact upon the public; it also had captured a place of its own among the artistic processes.” This assignment musses with his assertion by creating a digital, “academic,” work of art. It asks students to produce an audio recording of his article “The Work of