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

Cool Tools: Tableau

shaherzadahmadi

Data, Data Visualisation Week, Pedagogy, Tools

Tableau map made by the author with the title Does Rising Tuition Influence the Degrees Students Seek?

Last Friday, the DWRL hosted another workshop in preparation for the digitally accessible map we plan to create for our diverse student body. In conjunction with a discussion of collecting and analyzing data, Amy Tuttle provided an excellent lesson on Tableau, an online service that allows users to re-present data in creative ways, like this visualization of the relationship between the numbers of students enrolled and doctoral degrees earned by Reinhard Mueller, one of our staff members.

Adobe Creatives: What’s the Difference?

Sierra Mendez

Data Visualisation Week, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy, Tools

We are interrupting our usual broadcast of highly-fluent research narratives and pedagogical concerns to address an issue of practical import. Many curriculums now require a segment on visual literacy and infographic assessment (understandably, with the daily assault of information-rich images on web and other media sources), but this is quite a challenge for instructors who may feel shaky about making visual media. For anyone looking to introduce infographics in a way that incorporates Adobe Creative Suite or anyone who just

Eli Review at the DWRL

Jake Cowan

Events, Tools

Recently, Professor Bill Hart-Davidson from Michigan State University visited our spaces in the DWRL to discuss Eli Review, a software service for writing courses that he has helped co-develop. Whether you’re an instructor in an undergraduate composition classroom or a grade school teacher working with hormonal youths, Eli Review both simplifies and expands pedagogical possibilities. By analytically structuring peer review and revision, Eli Review provides students with well-defined objectives while giving instructors detailed information on the progress of their classes.

Cool Tools: Sound Mapping

shaherzadahmadi

Assignments, Audio Week, Locative Media, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy, Tools

Screenshot from UMapper

Jazz began in New Orleans at the turn of the century and spread like wildfire in the 1920s, as men and women who perfected the genre booked gigs in Austin, Chicago, and New York. Musicians played live for youthful audiences, electrified by the new sound. As the genre traveled north, and later west, it transformed from Louis Armstrong’s optimistic trumpet to Thelonious Monk’s volatile piano solos. How may instructors demonstrate these changes in America’s cultural landscape, capturing both the physical

Using Raugmenter to Map the 1966 Tower Shooting

Sarah Welsh

Digital Archiving, Locative Media, Multimodal Writing, News, Pedagogy, Tools

The UT Austin tower at night

If you wanted to design an augmented reality app, but didn’t have programming expertise, what would you do? Last fall, two graduate students, Felipe Cruz (now, Dr. Cruz), Keith Leisner, and Deb Streusand began working on Raugmenter in the DWRL. This tool was designed to make the augmented reality platform LayAR accessible for people who aren’t developers. The application allows users to build a tour of points of interest by entering data into a form and selecting GPS coordinates from a

Workshopping Our Web Presence

Mac Scott

Events, Tools

DWRL staff member working on a lab computer with help from a DWRL assistant director.

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’ve already heard about the importance of managing your web presence. Often, the issue is presented as a warning about the damage “inappropriate” photos or posts on social media can do as you seek to enter (or remain in) a profession. In this sense, managing your web presence is approached as a negative. That is, it’s framed as the absence or the removal of information that could hurt your professional ethos. At the

Cool Tools: The Rhetorical Methods Twine Game

J Brentlinger

Games, Pedagogy, Tools

An image of the first page of the Twine game. The image features the Digital Writing and Research Lab's logo and The University Seal.

Following the success of last year’s Twine research group, we in the DWRL wanted to take a step toward making Twine an integral part of the classroom. So during the break I set myself a goal: I wanted to write a completely new kind of Twine game. The resulting text, a Rhetorical Methods game, helps students to take a page and a half of notes regarding the issue, event, or other controversy that they choose to write about in the Rhetoric