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


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

Accessibility, Data Visualisation Week, 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


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: 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

Lesson Plan: Virtual Reality Apps


Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools

Though the public has expressed interest in the commercial possibilities of Virtual Reality (VR) apps, less attention has been paid to VR’s educational value. This lesson plan allows students to explore what VR has to offer in music, art, and science. The question here is, of course, how does VR enhance the study of these diverse subjects? By offering a three dimensional perspective, students may reconceptualize music, art, and science as well as brainstorm how technology may transform education. Students

Lesson Plan: Perspective API – Rhetorical Metadata, Pathos, and the Future of Internet Moderators


Assignments, Devices, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Teaching students how to analyze an argument is no simple task, as rhetorical analysis exists on a spectrum of complexity ranging from the most commonly encountered modes of persuasion, to analytical frameworks that push the definition of “rhetorical action” to its limit and beyond. What this disparity demonstrates is that rhetoric is generative, inventional, it stipulates through rhetorical action its own limits, it defines itself through its own capacities. Moving students from summary to analysis in Unit 2, students are

Lesson Plan: Infographics – Digital, Visual Stories

Sierra Mendez

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Image source: www.the-digital-reader.com. Image source: www.the-digital-reader.com. Both infographics and data visualization are tools to visually represent data. They make it easier for audiences to grasp difficult concepts by communicating meaning through a visual summary. It is the level of narration where the forms diverge: data visualization will employ algorithms to directly represent vast quantities of data and make interpretation simpler, whereas infographics are constructed by a human to tell a story about the data–to summarize its context, its meaning, and

Lesson Plan: Transforming Data Visualizations

Mac Scott

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy

Contemporary rhetorical theory privileges a view of rhetoric as dynamic, where texts circulate both spatially and temporally to myriad effects. For instance, in her influential article “Unframing Models of Public Distribution,” Jenny Rice pushes against a view of rhetoric as contained and static, arguing instead that the “rhetorical situation is part of . . . an ongoing social flux” and that rhetorics “evolve in aparallel ways” (9, 14) as they circulate. Mary Queen, in “Transnational Feminist Rhetorics in a Digital