Digital Media and Composition Institute 2012

Cynthia L. Selfe and Scott Lloyd Dewitt offer an annual intensive, two-week workshop through the Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) Institute at Ohio State. “Faculty and graduate students from across the nation get together and discuss how to use digital media in the composition classroom,” 2012 attendee David Coad explains.

Coad, an English and Comparative Literature MA student at San Jose State University, further explains that participants conceive of and create a project as their culminating experience at the institute – it can be “anything from making a professional web presence for yourself or a resource for faculty at your institution,” says Coad.

Coad decided to work on a website that introduces the “what, why, and how of multimodal composition.” The site contains video interviews with Cynthia Selfe, Scott DeWitt, and DMAC participants, as well as sample multimodal assignments.

Many other participants have posted their finished projects to the DMAC blog.

Through the institute, Coad says he learned that “it is important to focus on the rhetoric side of things when you are using technology in the classroom. As English teachers, we need to be informing our students as to how they can think about technology as a tool for achieving their goals in a rhetorical situation.”

Coad also notes that, as he interviewed fellow DMAC participants, one piece of advise came up over and over: “start small. If you want to do something with digital media in your class, start with one assignment or a component of one or two assignments. A way to test that you’ve selected a manageable project is to make sure you can explain it to your students on your first go.”


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