“What Counts as Writing? Exploring the Affordances of New Media for New Learning” (Mary Kalantzis, University of Illinois; Bill Cope, University of Illinois)
Remarkable phenomena have emerged in everyday practices of writing over the past decade. One has been the return of writing in spaces and forms that not so long ago we may have found surprising—for instance, on former speaking devices such as phones, and interleaved with reading in new media spaces such as Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Another phenomenon has been the rise of multimodality, where the written record in the form of alphabetical text is closely juxtaposed with other representations—visual, audio, gestural and spatial. As a consequence, the question has arisen: what is the range of forms of writing that might be considered valid media for contemporary knowledge representations in coursework across the academic disciplines? Does it include video, manipulable datasets, audio, diagramming, 3D design renderings, and the like? This presentation will explore the consequences of these changes, both in theory as we attempt to reframe our theory of multiliteracies, and also in our own practice, including our recent work to develop the web writing space, Scholar.
Mary Kalantzis is Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Recent publications include New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education (2012), Literacies (2012), Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures (2000), and Ubiquitous Learning (2009).
Bill Cope is Research Professor of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and an Adjunct Professor in the Globalism Institute at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. Recent publications include The Future of the Academic Journal (2009), Towards a Semantic Web: Connecting Knowledge in Academic Research (with Kalantzis and Magee, 2011), and The Future of the Book in the Digital Age (2006).
“Sustaining Change: WAC Experts Think Out Loud” (Moderator: Chris Anson, North Carolina State University; Panelists: Linda Adler-Kassner, University of California, Santa Barbara; Michelle Cox, Dartmouth College; Robert McMaster, University of Minnesota; Chris Thaiss, University of California, Davis; Kathleen Blake Yancey, Florida State University)
Often described in its formative years as "just another fleeting educational fad," the writing-across-the-curriculum movement has enjoyed remarkable stamina for decades. It has done this by adapting to institutional cultures, pursuing new research paths, expanding internationally, and generating innovative instructional methods suitable to multiple face-to-face and online venues. Still, systemic and fiscal challenges sometimes threaten individual programs' longevity. WAC directors may struggle to sustain faculty engagement and ensure that their efforts bear fruit. They recognize that programmatic sustainability requires them to mitigate challenges posed by increased and multilingual enrollments, flat curricula, imposed standards, and the specters of computerized grading and massive online enrollments. This innovative keynote session focuses on these logistical and pedagogical challenges. Taking our cue from CBS/PBS executive Fred Friendly's much-lauded debate series, experienced WAC theorists, researchers and practitioners will wrestle with these and other sustainability issues in real time. We will have the opportunity to listen, as they are presented with scenarios that challenge programmatic sustainability and are asked, point blank, for their perspectives—what they think about a difficult situation, and further, what they would do and why. Thus, we’re in for an unscripted and rare treat: hearing experts in their field think out loud as they work through thorny issues that confront us all.
Chris Anson (Moderator) is University Distinguished Professor, Professor of English, and Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University. Recent publications include “Process Pedagogy” (in press); “Deconstructing ‘Writing Program Administration’ in an International Context” (with Donahue, in press); “Beyond the Curriculum: Supporting Faculty Writing in WAC Programs” (2013); and Teaching Writing Using Blogs, Wikis, and Other Digital Tools (with Beach, Breuch and Swiss, 2009).
Linda Adler-Kassner (Panelist) is Professor of Writing and Director of the Writing Program at University of California, Santa Barbara. Recent publications include the co-authored Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning (with O’Neill, 2010), and The Activist WPA: Changing Stories about Writing and Writers (2008).
Michelle Cox (Panelist) is Multilingual Specialist at Dartmouth College and former WAC program director at Bridgewater State University. Recent publications include an edited collection, WAC and Second Language Writers: Research towards Developing Linguistically and Culturally Inclusive Programs and Practices (with Zawacki, forthcoming 2013), “WAC: Closing Doors or Opening Doors for Second Language Writers?” (2011), and a special issue of ATD: Writing across the Curriculum and Second Language Writers: Cross-Field Research, Theory, and Program Development (with Zawacki, 2011).
Robert B. McMaster (Panelist) is Professor of Geography and Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Minnesota. Recent publications include “Delineating West Nile Virus Transmission Cycles at Various Scales: The Nearest Neighbor Distance-Time Model” (with Ghosh and Manson, 2010); “The U.S. National Historical Geographic Information System” (with Noble, 2005); and A History of Twentieth Century American Academic Cartography (with McMaster, 2002).
Chris Thaiss (Panelist) is Clark Kerr Presidential Chair and Professor in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. Recent publications include Writing Programs Worldwide: Profiles of Academic Writing in Many Places (2012); Engaged Writers and Dynamic Disciplines: Research on the Academic Writing Life (with Zawacki, 2006); and WAC for the New Millennium: Strategies for Continuing Writing-across-the-Curriculum Programs (with McLeod, Miraglia, and Soven, 2001).
Kathleen Blake Yancey (Panelist) is Kellogg W. Hunt Professor of English and distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. Recent publications include the co-authored Writing across Contexts: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing (with Robertson and Taczak, 2014), “Evocative Objects: Reflections on Teaching, Learning, and Living in Between” (with Hesse and Sommers, 2012), and “College Admissions and the Insight Resume: Writing, Reflection, and Students' Lived Curriculum as a Site of Equitable Assessment” (2012).