(listed in reverse chronological order, according to day they are assigned)



Due: Thursday, December 11, by noon.

There is an online and an offline component to your portfolio. Make sure you have ALL parts completed well before the due date so you can double-check that they work before turning things in.

Online Portfolio Components:

  • group project
  • individual director’s commentary of your group project
  • group behind-the-scenes (BTS) project
  • all completed assignments from the semester that I asked you to post on your blog
  • your portfolio summary

These items should be uploaded to your individual blog, which functions as your online portfolio. My recommendation (if it makes rhetorical sense based on your blog design) is to create a new page to host your group project, commentary, and BTS texts, as these items all relate to each other. (Depending on the media of your group projects, creating a new page may or may not make sense; so use your judgement.)

Portfolio Summary
Your portfolio summary can be done in any medium you want. It is a reflection of your learning throughout the whole class (whereas the director’s commentary is the reflection of your composing process of the group project). If you want to use clips or images or audio to provide examples of this learning, more the better, but I’m not expecting it. What I do expect is for you to be able to say in an intelligent way what it is you learned this semester. (Go back to the course goals.) Remember that I am your primary audience for this piece (read: academic/teacher), even though it will appear on your online portfolio where others might read/view it. Here is a much more intense example than what I expect you to complete in a week, but an example of the thought/depth I am looking for nonetheless. Focus on one or two main points that you want to make about your learning in this class. And, like I said, choose whatever medium you want. This piece should stand on its own rhetorically and might be the equivalent of 4 polished written pages, two minutes of audio, or one minute of video. Ish.

Director’s Commentary
The individual commentary you provide on your group’s project should directly discuss your role in the project, the compositional choices you and/or your group helped make from the beginning of the project process through its completion, and anything else of note that you want to include. This is basically your chance to help me read YOUR take on the group’s project. Highlight the portions that interested you the most, or that frustrated you the most, or that you thought were the best (or worst) parts of the process or final text. It’s your commentary, so take the chance to tell readers what you want them to pay attention to regarding the PROCESS of composing this piece.

Offline Portfolio Components:

These items should be burned to two data (not auto-run) DVDs and/or provided in a different Cheryl-pre-approved format (all in full-size versions). Note that I cannot give you instructions on how to burn DVDs on your individual computers because it will completely depend on what kind of computer you have, what burning software you have, etc. There are DVD burners in the lab that I can instruct you on how to use, but you’ll need to make an appointment with me on Saturday or Sunday to show you how. (And I’ll need to get the lab key from Nick.)

BOTH DVDs must be labelled with your name/group and month/year in permanent marker or CD labels and MUST be placed into a DVD sleeve or case. These items will need to be placed into my mailbox in the English Department mailroom, which is open from 8am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Ask in the department office if you need help finding my mailbox.

DVD 1: Group DVD [I only need 1 DVD per group with these files, unless the files are too large for a DVD, in which case you can split them up in a way that makes sense.]

  • full-size, playable version of your group’s digital project
  • editable project/movie files
  • full-size, playable version of your group’s BTS project
  • editable BTS project files

Playable Version of Project
The playable version of your project, as it appears on your group DVD, should be exported to play back full-screen (or as big as you can get it). This file should be an .MOV, .WMV, MP3, JPG, etc. Depending on what your project is, you’ll have different sets of files here. Ask me if you have questions about what this entails.

Editable Project Files
Your DVD should include all clips, soundtracks, voiceovers, etc., used in your MovieMaker or iMovie project (i.e., .MSWMM project file and database file, .rcproject [imovie editable file and folder with clips]). If you are using MovieMaker, you will need to use the handout on the Resources page that explains how to move your MovieMaker files from one computer to another location (i.e., the DVD). You will definitely need to test this portion to make sure that you have completely burned to the DVD all necessary clips. I need all these files in case your project gets accepted to the book but requires additional revisions.

DVD 2: Individual DVD [I need one DVD per person with these files.]

  • individual director’s commentary on your group’s project in whatever medium you’ve chosen to do. (Make sure that it is evident to any reader how they should “read” your director’s commentary — write instructions if you need to.)



  • due Thursday, October 2
  • to be presented in class
  • no longer than 3 minutes
  • whatever media you need to accomplish your pitch

Goals of the assignment:

  • To understand some of the “disciplinary conversations” happening at the Watson conference
  • To brainstorm possible ideas for your major project that converge those conversations with your interest in them
  • To choose one idea to convince your classmates should become one of the major projects in class
  • To coherently present (using the media of your choice) a single argument about multimodal composition
  • To prepare yourself through knowledge-building to participate in the conference and work on the major project.


Do the “reading around” in the Watson schedule and featured speakers bios (iow, skim through it) that I assigned for this week on the schedule. Find some topics of interest to you and choose one that you’d like to speak to in your major project. (Or, alternately, you may find that none of the sessions speak to you, in which case you are free to choose a topic that you think SHOULD be represented at the conference but isn’t.) Prepare a presentation no longer than 3 minutes, to pitch your idea to your classmates. Your pitch needs to explain your major argument/point of the project, discuss how you plan on carrying out that project idea using particular media (in as much detail as you are able, but I know these will also be somewhat “made up” possibilities), and in presenting that information convince your classmates that they should vote for your project idea. (Yes, we will be doing secret ballots for this.) I will be timing you, so make sure to keep it under 3 minutes. Keep in mind your audience, what they will need to know to understand your project idea, and how you might marry form and content (using particular media and technologies) in your final project. Let me know if you have questions. I will be in the lab Friday from 2-6 to answer questions in person. Oh, and we’ll be filming these to use in the Behind The Scenes portion of the final portfolios.



  • due Tuesday, September 16, 8pm, uploaded/linked to your blog
  • feedback/comments due to your filming/camera partner by the beginning of class Thursday
  • we’ll workshop these in class on Thursday, and you’ll have a week to revise and repost them

Goals of the assignment:

  • To learn more about composing and editing in multiple modes in MovieMaker/iMovie
  • To learn more about your audience of academics who will attend the conference and also who will be peer-reviewing your final projects for this class
  • To practice turning your knowledge of the academic conversation of multimodal composition into digital, scholarly production (in the video CFP genre)


Since you have analyzed a video CFP in the previous assignment, you should have a rudimentary understanding of what works and what doesn’t in a video CFP.  Based on the textual CFP for The New Work of Composing (the e-book that is coming out of the conference), your mission is to compose a 1-minute video call for papers for the book collection. Include whatever information you deem necessary from the textual CFP into the video version, and also include any additional media (original, found, or cited video footage; original or cited images; and a soundtrack, if desired) — all of which should serve the purpose of the CFP for this book. Remember that your audience is scholars in various stages of their careers (20 to 70) who will be presenting at the Watson conference and who already have an understanding of multimodal composition but may have not yet seen the genre of a video CFP.



  • due Thursday, September 11, by beginning of class
  • we’ll respond to it with comments by the following week’s class

Goals of the assignment:

  • To create pages in your blog & to understand how those pages function (i.e., how a page is diff than a post) within the navigational system of your blog/portfolio.
  • To understand why and when you’d use a static image (screenshot) vs. written text vs. a video clip/citation to support your text’s purpose.
  • To practice embedding multiple media (screenshots and video) into your blog posts/pages.
  • To practice your analytical skills across multiple media, not just for written texts (as may be typical for English classes).
  • To analyze the genre of a video CFP so that you will understand its components and purpose when you compose your own video CFP next week.

Here are the parts/instructions of your assignment. These aren’t necessarily steps; consider it a checklist.

  • Go to YouTube and search for “Call for Papers” (in quotes). You should get approximately 10 hits. Review an assortment of the video CFPs and choose one (or two) to analyze.
  • Choose one of the “critical lenses” to apply to your chosen video (i.e., the terms you blogged about or we discussed in class or one you have come up with since class discussion).
  • Write an analysis using that lens and take screenshots (see Resources page for links to tutorials) or edit smaller video clips using MovieMaker/iMovie (see Resources page for tutorials) to use as examples.
  • When your analysis is done, it should include as many static images or video clips as you need, but it should be at least 2 or 3, if not more. You have two options for embedding video clips that you’ve edited into your blog page:
    1. Upload/Drag the video you’ve edited to your student server space (see Resource page for instructions) and create a link to that space from your blog page/post, or
    2. Create an account for YouTube and upload your edited video clip/citation to YouTube; then copy the /embed/ code on the posted YouTube video (or use the WordPress Insert Movie option) into your blog.
  • Length, including images/videos, should be the equivalent of about 2+ single-spaced pages, if printed.
  • Post your entire analysis on a page in your blog (not a blog post, but a page). Make sure to name the page something appropriate and unique to the assignment.



Goals of this assignment:

  • To meet each other.
  • To learn to use the video cameras.
  • To learn the basics of importing videos, editing, and exporting in MovieMaker/iMovie.
  • To link/upload video to your blog.

To complete the video-introduction assignment:

  1. Download the video that includes everyone’s introductions. To download it, right-click (Ctrl+click on a Mac) and Save the File/Link to your desktop (or wherever). [NOTE: It’s an AVI file, which should import into both iMovie and MovieMaker. If it doesn’t let me know. It’s 35 megs, because AVIs are huge, uncompressed files, so it may take a few minutes to download, especially if you’re using a wireless connection.]
  2. Import the video into MovieMaker/iMovie and edit out everyone but yourself. (Following in-program help files in MovieMaker for help with editing, or use the MovieMaker/iMovie tutorials located on the Resources page.)
  3. Add any titles or transitions you want. Make sure the clip volume is appropriate.
  4. Save the MovieMaker/iMovie project file (i.e., File>Save Project) to your local computer. This will produce the .mswmm editable file.
  5. Export the project as a movie file (i.e., File>Save Movie File… in MovieMaker; Share or File>Export/Share in iMovie). Follow the on-screen instructions for producing a web-ready/smaller-sized video. This will produce a playable movie file that you can share on your blog (.wmv on PC or .mov on Mac). Make sure to watch the exported video all the way through to ensure it exported correctly. (If not, try re-exporting it.)
  6. Close video-editing program, movie player (Media Player), and open/map the student server. (If you’re off campus, you’ll need to launch the VPN client first. See the Resources page for a link to dowloading and installing the VPN client on your home computer.)
  7. Drag a copy of the playable (wmv or mov) file to your student server space. Make sure the filename has no spaces or weird characters.
  8. Open an Internet browser to check the URL of your uploaded video:<yourulid-nobrackets>/<yourprojectfilename-nobrackets-withfileextension>. e.g.,
  9. Copy the correct URL from the browser and paste it as a link somewhere in your blog. OR upload the intro to YouTube and embed the video in your blog.

1 thought on “Assignments

  1. Pingback: Assignment: Screenshot Analysis « Matt’s Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *