The Rhetoric of the Digital Marketplace: Yelp

Reinhard Mueller

Locative Media, Social Media, Tools

This is the logo of Yelp, followed by the four lower case letters in black: yelp. The background is white. The logo is red.

We all did it. We all used Yelp. If you want to find out, if this Italian restaurant is in fact a good choice for Valentine’s day, Yelp has an answer. Or if you are in a new city and don’t really know which bar or coffee shop to go to, Yelp knows! Or even when you are looking for a hotel or dentist in another country, Yelp reviewers have already been there and offer advice. Today, Yelp has become

Machine Communication: Using and Understanding MIDI

andrewheermans

Devices, Multimodal Writing, Tools

When multi-track recording was developed in 1955, it allowed for the concept of “production” as we understand the term in contemporary music-terminology. By recording the individual elements of a performance, one could alter and edit each part of the whole composition, or start from individual parts and construct an entire composition. This not only changed the musical process, but the product as well, unlocking new and previously impossible feats of musical arrangement and production. On a smaller scale, the development

Think-Alouds: Charting How Students Think

shaherzadahmadi

Pedagogy, Tools

As an instructor, I have often wished that I could examine my students’ thought processes. Are they questioning the author’s bias? Are they drawing connections to other sources? Fortunately, many pedagogues have engaged cognitive psychology to do just that. Think-aloud protocols were adapted in the 1970s and 1980s to help writers adopt certain strategies, and understand their own processes, in composing their work. Through the 1990s, pedagogues from the fields of rhetoric to psychology adjusted the protocols to suit the

Lesson Plan: Narrative Numbers

DWRL Staff

Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools

By Sierra Mendez & Sarah Welsh Maybe we can begin by blaming Plato for his view that math, specifically geometry, was the one perfect truth in the world–a belief systematically strengthened by science’s insistent reliance on empirical, numerical data as “truth.” These notions have been adopted into the public conscious, leaving people with the tendency to treat quantitative evidence as unquestionable facts that are above argument. Most students tend to say things like “numbers speak for themselves” when instead they

Lesson Plan: Visualizing and Analyzing Texts with Voyant

Ansley Colclough

Data, Pedagogy, Tools

In writing and literature classes, we teach our students to gather evidence from close reading in order to support their arguments. In what ways could data visualization charts actually aid processes of reading? The visualization tool Voyant allows the user to track the relative appearance and context of specific words and phrases in a specific body of text, from a poem to an entire corpus. While digital tool analysis by no means replaces close reading, it can be useful for

Lesson Plan: Photography, Photoshop, and Visual Rhetoric

DWRL Staff

Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools

By Sierra Mendez & Sarah Welsh This data visualization lesson plan focuses on image manipulation across a variety of sources. It matters to us and to the classroom because 21st century forms of media and knowledge dissemination demand that we be able to interpret and utilize visual forms of information. Photos are a key component of modern data visualization whether they make up the data itself or are integrated into an infographic. An acknowledgement and understanding of how photos are

(Re)visualizing Data

DWRL Staff

Assignments, Data, Lesson Plans, Pedagogy, Tools

Stylistic data visualization similar to snow on a TV screen but with no accompanying data

Team Data Visualization is proud to present a new set of lesson plans that we’ve designed to be as cohesive as the first. With a little planning, anyone can share a data visualization lesson plan with their students. Sarah Welsh and Sierra Mendez collaborated on two lesson plans. The first takes inspiration from Dr. Johanna Wolfe and her work on rhetorical numbers to help students think about the often mistaken view that numbers always equal fact. The second provides a meditation on rhetorical

Rhetorical Synthesis: The Story of the Roland TB-303

andrewheermans

Devices, Multimodal Writing, Tools

Short GIF of a man displaying a tb-303, touch bass line synthesizer.

The Roland TB-303 is one of the most influential electronic instruments to date. The story of the instrument and its influence remind us that objects can be “active agents rather than passive instruments or backdrops for human activity” (Boyle, Barnett). The machine is an analogue, monophonic bass line synthesizer created in 1982 by Roland. Designed as a companion piece for performing or practicing musicians, it was a band mate and instructor in one. The machine could not be played as a

Pedagogical Periscope: The Basics of Streaming a Webinar from Your Phone

Jake Cowan

Devices, Pedagogy, Tools

Whether it’s the weather or you’re just feeling under the weather, traveling to campus and working with students in person isn’t always the best course of action for your writing course. In fact, staying home can sometimes be the most pedagogically effective choice—students always will appreciate the break, and you can probably use one, too. But just because you’ve stayed home and in your pajamas doesn’t mean a lesson can’t still be learned, by both students and instructor alike. With

The Future of Six Second Compositions

shaherzadahmadi

Devices, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy, Tools

Vine, a Twitter-owned video app since 2012, allowed users to create six-second video loops. “Vine stars,” who cleverly used the app for optical illusions or comedy, emerged as popular online figures. After years of losing ground to Instagram‘s competing video app, inaugurated in 2013, Vine has recently shut down. The demise of Vine and the layoffs at Twitter are not a portent of good things to come for the tech company. Still, the continued success of ultra-short-form video on Instagram