Dr. Write comes at this assignment, I believe, from the creative writing class, although I’m certain that it could be just as worthwhile in a “regular” (urgh) FY writing class as well:
What I learned from this assignment is that requiring students to contextualize their own experiences and to perform their own work in their own voices had inspired students in ways that exceeded the usual assignment to write an essay (or a story or a poem).
Indeed. New media does JUST THAT. It makes us see things differently (new-ly). It requires us to come at things from angles we wouldn’t normally take.
It also compels our students to do things we’ve been telling them to do for years: have trouble anticipating that ol’ AWK mark? READ THE DAMN THING ALOUD. But this, I do believe, is secondary, really. Because if students are writing in order to have the product be a “sound essay” or what have you, (hopefully) they’ll be “hearing” it as it’s composed.
Further, Dr. Write offers me another tidbit to chew:
The energy of the monologues derives from combining two disparate narratives: the personal and the public.
Here is an idea that I’ve been considering ever since I began blogging: that the use of new media requires 1) writers to be able to incorporate multiple spheres of discourse (most importantly that of the public and private) and 2) the audience to somehow be more receptive to genres that reconcile several voices simultaneously. More on this later.
I am ALL OVER this, as I think toward the fall semester, when I get to drive my own digital writing class. This will be a stolen (shared) assignment, for sure.