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Moving the Massive Open Course to the Public Sphere
Transcript of Moving the Massive Open Course to the Public Sphere
Ohio State University's "Rhetorical Composing" MOOC
Do you have some experiences with teaching English to others or learning English as a second, third or fourth language? Do you have a response to one of the four questions below that might help others in this class? Maybe you've even had an experience in this MOOC class that addresses some of these questions?
Why talk about “world Englishes,” rather than “Standard English”?
What are the difficulties/challenges of learning a world English?
What are some strategies for learning a variety of English?
What advice can you offer about learning a variety of English?
If so, consider leveling up with one of the following optional course challenges:
Record a short video that responds to one or more of the four questions above and post it on YouTube (or some other social media outlet available to you), then post the link in the “Writing as English Language Learners” subforum (in the class’ Discussion Forum). Over time, we hope to have a diverse collection of videos from many perspectives.
Write a short response to one of the four questions above and post it in the “Writing and Learning in a Global Context” Discussion Forum so that others can read it.
Statement of Completion vs. Statement of Completion with Distinction
From the Coursera website: "Rhetorical Composing engages participants in a series of interactive reading, research, and composing activities along with assignments designed to help you become more effective consumers and producers of alphabetic, visual and multimodal texts. Join us to become more effective writers... and better citizens."
Want to be a published author?
To accept our first Level-Up Challenge, publish your “Who I am as a Writer with a Cause: An Autobiographical Narrative” essay in the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) at http://daln.osu.edu. The DALN is the largest, publicly available online archive of narratives about reading and composing in the world, and it will give you a large audience for your essay.
You can “Level Up” by creating and publishing to the DALN a version of your essay about yourself as a writer. The choice of expressive modality is up to you: you can publish the original essay you wrote, or you can record and publish a video version of your essay, or you can record and publish a digital audio essay about yourself as a writer.
Choose an expressive modality with which you are familiar. If you know video recording, go ahead and create a video “Getting to Know You” essay; if you know audio recording, try a digital audio essay, and if you prefer to compose in words, submit your original "Getting to Know You..." essay.
Be sure to export your essay in a common format: video (mov, .wmv, .mp4), audio (.wav, .mp3, .m4a, .aiff), or words (.txt, .rtf, .doc). If you choose to compose a video, export it in a compressed format (H.264) so the file is relatively small.
Publish your “Getting to Know You” essay on the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN) web site at <http://daln.osu.edu>.
A good deal of your work in Rhetorical Composing has revolved around learning about and employing several interrelated practices: (1) Identifying yourself as a writer with a cause, (2) using rhetorical concepts to enhance your writing to achieve a purpose for a particular audience, (3) creating visual arguments for public audiences, and (4) conducting research as you strive to enter the ongoing conversation about your cause. We anticipate that—through all of these activities and assignments—that you’ve mastered a good deal about rhetoric and writing and feel a sense of accomplishment as writers.
So, for this Level Up activity, we ask you to put your rhetorical, composing, and creative skills to work for another worthy cause: Giving back by giving advice to other writers. Throughout Rhetorical Composing, you’ve heard us describe peer review in WEx as built on a “gift culture,” or “gift economy,” a set of practices defined by a commitment of giving to others or what Wikipedia defines as “mode of exchange where valuables are not sold, but rather given without an explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards. Shilpa Jain—in her blog, “Reclaiming Gift Culture”—encourages each of us to engage one another “from a spirit of deep gratitude, empathy and trust”—sentiments that inform some of our own motivations for creating Rhetorical Composing, which we see as a means of moving away from commodifying learning and teaching—and bringing our collective knowledge and enthusiasm for writing to you.
Compose a piece in which you set out for other writers some of your advice; words of wisdom; or “tried and true” methods for writing, composing visual arguments, or researching your particular cause. What would you like to pass on to other writers? What advice would you give to writers—perhaps those who are, like many of you were a few months ago—trying to get started, reenergized, or find their way into meaningful writing? Don’t make it long—strive for a single page, image, infographic, or PowerPoint slide. Make it visually appealing, concise, and engaging. Pass on your wisdom and experience. Give back by giving advice. If you are interested in creating an infographic, consider using an online program like piktochart.com, which you can try free of charge. Then, share your experience in the “Level Up for Distinction” discussion forum.
Giving Back by Giving Advice
High Art Remix
For this Level Up assignment, first read Joseph Bizup's article and then employ at least one portion of his structure of B-E-A-M (Background-Exhibit-Argument-Method) in composing a short, informal contribution to an on-going conversation about your cause. We don't intend this as a full-scale argumentative or persuasive essay. We ask simply that you step into a social media site, blog site, or other online venue and join a conversation about your cause and contribute to the on-going conversation.
So, for this Level-Up Activity, create your own short informal contribution employing evidence (as B, E, A, or M) in support of your position. You might, for example, create a response to a blog post on your cause, using a source to support your argument, oppose another writer's opinion, turn the argument to a related (but overlooked) question or perspective, etc. Think of this as an opportunity to see how you can use evidence in your own arguments and see how others respond to particular uses of evidence in the public sphere about your cause.
To see what this activity looks like in action, visit "Yes, We Want to Change the Zoo World," a post by Will from the Born Free Foundation. You may craft a response to an original post or one of the replies. Be sure to use B, E, A, or M in your response.
Soo's Blog Post
Watch the first ten or so minutes of TEDTalk by ecologist Allan Savory, “How to Green the World’s Desert and Reverse Climate Change.” (Note: You can download this video, or transcripts of this video, at the link above. If you prefer, you can also access the same TEDTAlk via this link on YouTube.)
As you watch this video, pay attention to Savory's use of extrinsic and intrinsic ethos and Savory’s appeals to logos, pathos, ethos and kairos (terms introduced by this week's reading and videos.) As you listen and view this presentation, pay particular attention to the the images in his presentation, as they are an integral part of his argument. Note your observations, responses, and insights to questions such as the following:
How is Savory making his argument?
Why is he so successful in making this argument?
How does he use the rhetorical appeals of ethos, logos, pathos, and kairos?
How does his use of visual elements contribute to his argument?
How does he demonstrate craft, that is, his knowledge of the subject?
How does he demonstrate caring rather than self interest?
How does Savory relate the value of his cause and what it can do for humanity?
From your notes, create a reflection which you state which one of the rhetorical appeals you believe Savory uses most successfully to meet his persuasive end. That is, which one of the appeals do you believe contributes most powerfully to his argument?
We realize we’re asking you to select just one appeal—and that’s intentional. We’re interested in determining how you interpret and evaluate his use of appeals and whether your assessments are different from or similar to others who’ve watched the same video. Our hunch is that we’ll see a variety of responses
Allan Savory begins with a grim reality , moves through with series of misses and hits but ends on a note of hope.
Perhaps the most powerful not of his talk was his acceptance of killing of 40000 elephants which allowed the listener to touch the chord of vulnerability.The pathos testifies to his reason and struggle to find a solution.While his studies and education makeup for the extrinsic ethos , he studies and observations of other researchers include the intrinsic ethos.
His talk comes at at time when all of us are aware of the problem of climate change through media coverage of natural disasters that are increasingly becoming more frequent .However a layman is also confused about the ways one can prevent this change. Allan Savory uses ample visuals in his speech to effectively put forward his case .He logically reasons through the various option available to us and these claims are based on pictures supplied by reliable agencies like NASA or US Govt.
His commitment to his cause is evident from the long years spent to transform lands on verge of desertification into green pastures which are testified through visuals.The talk is reasoned ,simple and hard hitting but ends on finding a solution .
Ethos, Logos, Pathos, Kairos
In this class, we have been talking about writing with a cause. Implicit in this course theme is the idea of putting your writing in public for a real-world audience. You have certainly had experience with this already. On the discussion forums, you have been sharing your writing, discussing your ideas, and providing feedback to one another. What would happen if you shared one of your assignments outside of the Rhetorical Composing class website? Well, this Level Up activity gives you the opportunity to find out.
Choose one of the assignments that you have completed for this class and share it in a public forum where the primary audience is not made up of students enrolled in this class. Perhaps you could share it on a social media space. If you regularly write a blog, you could publish it there. Do you know of a publication that you do not manage where your work might be featured? The goal of this assignment is to get your work in public outside of this class. (Before you submit your work, you may wish to revise it slightly, and that’s perfectly fine.)
Then, share your experience in the "Level Up for Distinction" discussion forum. Some questions you might want to consider when writing about your experience: Why did you choose the location where you published or submitted your work? What were your initial thoughts about sharing your work outside of Rhetorical Composing? How did you predict people would respond to it? How did people respond to it once they read it? What did you learn about putting your work in public? Did you revise your work before putting it public? Why or why not?
(If you choose this Level Up activity and you don’t get a response, that’s perfectly fine. You can still get credit for doing the assignment. This is likely to happen if you submit your work to be featured in a publication. Sometimes you have to wait a long time to hear from someone who manages the publication.)
Putting Your Work in Public
Now that you are well on your way to becoming expert peer reviewers over the duration of Rhetorical Composing, we’d like you to look back over your engagement with the peer review process and think about how your approach to it has changed, both in formal environments (WEx, traditional classroom settings) and less formal environments (discussion forums, social media outlets, conversations with friends and family). Consider the following questions:
What are your general impressions of engaging in the practice of peer feedback in the Writers Exchange? What did you find challenging or useful about the system? Did these impressions change over time?
What are some of the main lessons you feel that you’ve learned engaging in this peer review process through the duration of this course? Some aspects you may want to consider include:
What did you learn about your own writing while providing feedback to others on their writing? How have the skills you have developed to read other people’s work affected or influenced your own approach to composing?
What role do you think anonymity plays in the review process? Is it helpful or not to know who has written the piece, or who is reviewing it? How does knowing the writer or reviewer affect the review process, based on your experience?
How does the Writers Exchange compare with the other feedback outlets, including those in the Rhetorical Composing course (discussion forums, informal peer groups, etc.), other formal classes (instructor feedback, peer feedback in class, etc.), or other sources of feedback (work places, community writing groups)? What strikes you as important similarities and differences among them as spaces for reviewing and discussing other peoples’ writing?
Reflecting on Peer Review
By Michael Blancato and Chad Iwertz
Every morning outside is the same for me: Hang, stretch, and twist myself on iron bars cemented in our neighborhood for “public fitness” – one of the two government practices I gratefully attributed to the Beijing Olympic Games, the other being “public toilets”. I cannot do it alone; I need my mother to grab my elbow, pry my fingers open, tug my shoulder forward, wrap my left hand in hers so I can get a firm grip onto these bars without falling. [...]
This parody is done off of
Venus of Urbino
, an oil painting. In this original picture, Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty, love, lust & prosperity, is reclining nude on the couch, looking directly at the observer. The dog is a symbol of loyalty, obedience & martial fidelity. The posy of roses she’s holding in her hand symbolizes love. Titian (the painter), was taking a risk at the time, because this was shockingly erotic in 1538 -- especially because of the eye contact. Only because it is Venus & only because it was commissioned for a new, young bride by her husband, would this have been acceptable.
In my parody, I suggest that this is the simply a sign of the times in 2014: this is the decade of selfies -- nobody is modest, everyone is suggestive if not downright lewd, & no one is immune… She’s, thus, not holding a bouquet but a phone to take a picture of herself (perhaps to send it to Mars?). Even the dog wants to get in the action -- forget about fidelity! The one rose is left alone, discarded. Venus is not a shock -- not even the norm -- but surprisingly tame.
In his parody of Munch's
, G. Justine undercuts the feelings of existential angst and alienation represented in Munch’s original painting by replacing the original anguished‐looking central figure with a much more jovial stand‐in (the popular “awesome face” Internet meme). Your goal is to create a similar type of remix, juxtaposing unconventional visual elements, text, or other features into your design.
Other examples include
by Marcel Duchamp (which parodies the Mona Lisa) and a parody of Grant Wood's
Famous Artists Gallery— a good resource for finding high art pieces to parody. You can also Google terms such as “famous paintings” and related terms to find your source image.
Creative Commons Image Search— here, you can search for additional images to incorporate into your design.
GIMP (Graphical Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open source application used to edit images in a variety of ways. A series of tutorials is available here.
Pixlr is a free web-based image editor that offers many of the same features as GIMP or Photoshop. The Pixlr Blog offers resources including tutorial, tricks, tips, as well as a user community discussion forum.
You may find that your computer already has tools available for image editing--and there are lots of other free tools, online and offline, that we haven't mentioned here! Feel free to explore other options besides the ones we list above.
Allan Savory at TED’s clearly makes his argument for keeping livestock as the only way of preventing desertification, but he remarks that it is necessary to plan their grazing so as to be able to mimic nature. Otherwise, livestock could worsen the problem.
In order to convey his message, he uses all the rhetorical appeals masterfully, but in my opinion, it is ethos that he uses more than any other. He shows the audience strong evidence throughout images that speak for themselves and research conducted, not only by himself but by other scientists too, many times by trial and error until they come up with the desired results. This is ethos.
Sometimes he uses the images to make the audience aware of the current situation. For instance, one that impacted on me is a satellite image showing that about two thirds of the world is becoming desert, because it gives evidence of the magnitude of the problem. Other times, he shows images of a previous situation and the same area after applying the methods, right or not, scientists considered necessary to avoid desertification. This way, they were able to realize the correct steps to follow- Trial and error. So, he is showing the results of the research by images, as an essential tool to make it easier to understand to the general public and to give evidence. Paraphrasing the saying: “Evidence through images is worth a thousand words”
Summing up, Savory makes the most of his talk by rhetoric, using all the rhetorical appeals and demonstrating his craft and caring to engage the audience, but at least from my view, he uses ethos all through the talk as the most effective appeal since there is no better way of demonstrate your claim than evidence.
Allan Savory uses all four rhetoric appeals in his TED talk about the desertification of our lands and his claim that we can reverse it. He uses Ethos very well via appeals to authority and credibility by telling us about his qualifications as a Biologist, his university studies, and the research he did early on in his life. His main argument is that we need livestock to prevent desertification. Since he is so calm and low-key and uses no intense vocal urgency, he seems to rely on Ethos as his primary rhetorical devise.
He made it beleivable by telling us the successes and counterbalancing it with failures and he is a master at using imagery to vividly show us the magnitude and the urgency of the issue. He showed images of how the place looked like before and after the application of the methods scientists considered necessary to avoid desertification and that was convincing.
He uses Pathos via appeals to our fear of having an un-inhabitable planet. Catastrophic words like cancer and that it is terminal are used to further emphasize the fear. From time to time, he uses Logos through reasoning to convince us. Now that he got our attention, he uses Kairos by implying that time is running out.
Charlene's Facebook Post
My general impressions about peer reviews are to be honest not good. If there were more people worried in doing a good review about what they read, and not being sarcastic or venting their own frustrations, this system would work for me. It's not all failure, though. Some people [...] focused in the content and they were very helpful adding suggestions to improve my writing. Those were a minority unfortunately.
My impressions are generally favorable. I either misunderstood some of the directions or they were unclear. Anyway, had I understood them better I would have taken better advantage of them. Good process.
I benefited greatly from The WEx Training Guide while I was giving my peers
feedback, which helped me to evaluate both my own work and work of my peers and
create a proper reflection in the end.
I've always liked to see other people engaging, interacting and reacting to my work.
The comments and reviews I received, the emotions readers felt upon finishing
my texts are precious to me on a personal level. Having a system like WEx,
where different people from over the world could give you feedback about
your work and help you improve your writing, is fantastic.
One Participant's Response
One Participant's Response
One Participant's Response
Liza's Wordpress Site
*Note that all material represented in this project is used with The Ohio State University IRB approval, protocol number 2013B0076. Student work is available free and open online.