Naming What We Don’t Know

By: Amy Parziale   Amy Sugar   Rachel Walton   Kristin Winet  

Scholars have long grappled with how digital technologies alter literacy and pedagogy. Though such conversations are crucial for rethinking design and assessment, less attention has been paid to theorizing the unexpected spaces of learning. To build off Adler-Kassner’s work, we pose the question: If effective writing instruction comes from “naming what we know,” how do we adapt our pedagogy for what we don’t know and cannot predict? This discussion explores pedagogies of multimodal projects within cross-campus collaborations, specifically how students learn to compose multimodal texts and what instructors can do when learning goes “wrong.” Our panel, comprised of writing, technology, and library instructors, will frame the discussion by sharing recent collaborative writing projects (a Wikipedia and a multi-contributor food blog) at a liberal arts college in the southeast United States. We will discuss how we supported multi-literacy learning and how we handled “what went wrong.” We will also explore the value added for students and how multimodal assignments align/intersect with traditional information and digital literacy competencies. Our primary inquiry, as instructors and information professionals, is: How can we use what we learned from these projects to improve assignment design and assessment? Other questions considered include: What are the desired outcomes and what is at stake for multimodal projects?  How do we stay both rigorous and realistic when things go awry? What support do students need? How can such projects be universally designed, fully accessible, and publically online? How do authorship and anonymity impact student writers?

Multimodal Literacies, Collaboration, Digital Humanities, Technology, Universal Design, Assessment, Authorship,
Reading, Writing, Literacy, and Learning
Focused Discussion

Amy Parziale

Visiting Assistant Professor, English, Rollins College, United States
United States

Dr. Parz's teaching interests include American literature, film and culture; trauma studies; and gender studies. Her pedagogy is transdisciplinary and multimodal. 

Amy Sugar

Director of Instructional Design & Technology, Rollins College, United States
United States

Rachel Walton

Assistant Professor, Digital Archivist & Record Management Coordinator, United States
Florida, United States

I am a Digital Archivist and Librarian at Rollins College's Olin Library. In that role I work to aquire, preserve, and provide access to the College's digital assets and history. I also teach undergraduates about how to do reseach in a library and archive, and I try to get them thinking about interesting ways to visualize their research with data and disseminate their work through online publishing options. I love my job and I have amazing collaborators in my fellow faculty, IT professoinals, and library staff. Together we help students do great work.

Kristin Winet

Assistant Professor of English, Rollins College, United States
United States