Think-Alouds: Charting How Students Think


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

On Break

Beck Wise


Macro image of a snowflake

Our staff are taking a well-deserved winter break. We’ll be back the second week in January with a collection of lesson plans for teaching with wearable technology, as well as exciting new posts about sonic rhetorics, student think-alouds, and more. Featured image: “Onward and Upward” by Lady Dragonfly.

Remixing the News

Mac Scott


This image reads "citation needed." The phrase is in brackets, the font is blue, italicized, and underlined. It resembles Wikipedia's interface.

In the last couple weeks, we’ve heard a lot about fake news, and “post-truth” was recently named by Oxford Dictionaries as its word of the year. One of the things this has had me thinking about is not only how news stories proliferate online, but how information transforms as it circulates. In particular, I’m interested in how information from one text is translated or “recomposed” into another–whether it’s commenting on an article shared on Facebook, summarizing an argument via a

We Need to Talk About Credibility

Sarah Welsh

Pedagogy, Social Media

Clickbait article from conservative news site Freedom Daily titled Muslims See a Christmas Tree, Then Start Attacking It!

Last week I hid someone from my Facebook news feed. We’ve all done it, and I’m sure people have done it to me. I was tired of seeing things that I found obnoxious or insipid or offensive or false or all of the above, and rather than unfriend them, I simply silenced them. This is not something I make a habit of, but it’s amazing how easy it is to block out what you don’t want to see. It literally

Reading in the Digital Age: Audiobooks by Librivox

Reinhard Mueller

Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

This image shows eight books of different colors in a row (as if on a bookshelve) next to each other. They are embraced by headphones. The background is white.

Tired eyes from pushing through your reading list? Planning a road trip? Or just trying to cram some productive time into your commute? Long reading lists of classic texts might appear long and daunting. But for over 11 years, Librivox has made our lives easier by providing a digital platform for free audiobooks — perhaps not the latest thriller (try your local library!), but maybe including something from your comprehensive exam list or next semester’s syllabus. Started in 2005 by

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: Peer Recordings, or Revising Peer Review

Mac Scott

Lesson Plans, Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

An important component in the composition process is peer reviews. In fact, it’s a requirement for RHE 306 courses. But when instructors assign digital writing assignments–particularly those like infographics that have a visual component beyond alphanumeric text–a question emerges as to how students can best provide helpful feedback. In “Can You Hear Us Now,” Julie Reynolds and Vicki Russell argue that audio-recorded feedback on student writing encourages them as instructors to “focus less on lower-order writing concerns (such as spelling,

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