Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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Bedford Bits has moved!

posted: 7.10.15 by BedfordAdmin

Visit the new home of Bedford Bits to find recent posts from our growing team of Bedford authors and top scholars:  Andrea Lunsford, Nancy Sommers, Steve Bernhardt, Traci Gardner, Barclay Barrios, Jack Solomon, Susan Bernstein, Elizabeth Wardle, Doug Downs, Liz Losh, Jonathan Alexander, and Donna Winchell.

Bedford Bits is now part of The Macmillan English Community, a new professional development community where you’ll find an expanding collection of additional resources to support your teaching:

  • Read Bedford Bits blog posts
  • Sign up for webinars
  • Download resources that support your teaching– titles like Beth Hewett’s Reading to Learn and Writing to Teach, and Tara Lockhart and Mark Roberge’s Informed Choices: A Guide for Teachers of College Writing
  • Start a discussion
  • Ask a question
  • Follow your favorite members
  • Review projects in the pipeline
We hope to see you there!

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What I Learned in (High) School

posted: 5.21.15 by Andrea Lunsford

In March, I attended the 55th reunion of my class at Ketterlinus High School in St. Augustine, Florida. There were perhaps 25 of us there, out of a class of around 100, which seemed pretty darned good to me. Being with people I hadn’t seen—some for 55 years—was, well, bracing. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Teaching Advice, Uncategorized, Writing Center
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Multimodal Mondays: Using Listicles to Help Students Engage with Sources

posted: 5.18.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Caitlin L. Kelly, a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she teaches multimodal composition courses using 18th– and 19th-century British literature and serves as a Professional Tutor in the Communication Center. Alongside work on the intersection of religion and genre in British literature of the Long Eighteenth Century, she is also interested in exploring applications of a multimodal approach to composition to traditional literature pedagogy.

One of the most difficult assignments to teach is the one at the heart of most college composition courses: the research project. Taking students from brainstorming a topic to a polished argument over the course of a semester is daunting; in the composition classroom, we are tasked with teaching—under very inorganic circumstances—a research process that should evolve organically. And one of the most challenging parts of that process for many students is learning how to engage with sources once they have found them. This is where the listicle comes into play in my courses. [read more]

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Categories: Andrea Lunsford, Assignment Idea, Digital Writing, Genre, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Peer Review, Teaching with Technology, Uncategorized, Visual Rhetoric
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Multimodal Mondays: Composing the Multimodal Interview

posted: 5.4.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Today’s guest blogger is Jason Dockter, who teaches first-year composition at Lincoln Land Community College. He recently completed his Ph.D. in English Studies at Illinois State University, with an emphasis on rhetoric/composition, with a specific interest in multimodal composition. His dissertation is entitled Multimodality, Migration, and Accessibility in Online Writing Instruction.

One of my initial goals within my first-year composition course is to expand students’ perception of writing. My students often enter FYC with rigid views of what it means to write, what writing looks like, and how writing composed within a school setting differs from writing they interact with and compose on their own outside of school. Multimodal composition projects provide an opportunity to push against these divisive perceptions of writing while increasing students’ rhetorical knowledge and their ability to transfer that knowledge to new contexts. Text design, especially, is a rhetorical element that is challenging to address in essay-based writing assignments. However, my multimodal interview project, outlined here, provides a prime opportunity to focus on text design by emphasizing the spatial mode, among others. [read more]

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Categories: Uncategorized
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Teaching Engineering as a Discipline with Graphic Novels

posted: 3.6.15 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

A few months ago Nick Carbone pointed out one of the most interesting and sophisticated examples of student work that I’ve ever seen in a graphic novel format, “What is Engineering?”  by Mallory “Mel” Chua, who blogs at http://blog.melchua.com/. [read more]

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Ten Quiz Writing Tips

posted: 2.3.15 by Traci Gardner

Last week, I wrote about my experience using quizzes in a writing class to help students identify and (I hoped) recall key details from course readings. The low-stakes quizzes were relatively simple to manage because the textbook I was using included quizzes that I could import into our CMS. This term, however, I will have to generate my own quizzes for one course. [read more]

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Categories: Uncategorized
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Look it up!

posted: 1.27.15 by Steve Bernhardt

Working on some medical texts last week, I was continually impressed with the ease of looking up unfamiliar words. Pretty much without fail, if I right-clicked on a medical term, Adobe Acrobat would drop a box with the last choice being Look up “xxx”:

[read more]

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Categories: Steve Bernhardt, Uncategorized
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New Year, New Semester, New Class

posted: 1.7.15 by BedfordAdmin

Happy 2015!

We hope your holiday season was filled with good cheer and some well-deserved rest. Bits will be returning with new posts following the MLK, Jr. holiday on January 19th.

In the meantime, as you put the finishing touches on your syllabi and assignment plans, we encourage you to look back at our trove of great posts by our distinguished authors for some new approaches and fresh activity ideas [read more]

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Millennial Attention Spans

posted: 11.19.14 by Barclay Barrios

Nick Marino, our gest blogger for this week, is a first year student in the MA program at Florida Atlantic University, specializing in 20th century British Literature. He lives with his cat in South Florida, a place he finds oddly inspiring.

I’m with Nick on this meditation about the use of personal technology in the classroom, even through Richard Restak’s “Attention Deficit: The Brain Syndrome of Our Era” argues rather persuasively that multitasking is a myth.  In the classes I teach, I encourage “responsible” use of technology like smart phones: pull it out to bring up a reading, research the author on the internet, check your calendar, or even log in to Blackboard.  Need to answer that text or call?  No problem.  Discretely step outside.  I’m always a bit amazed that students find even this rather liberal policy challenging, texting in class anyway.  Maybe Nick’s thoughts can offer me some new directions.

What do you think? [read more]

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Categories: Guest Bloggers, Uncategorized
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Technical Definitions and Instructions

posted: 11.18.14 by Traci Gardner

I have been working to make the assignments in my technical writing class tie more closely to tasks students will do in the field. Their range of experiences complicates my goal however. Some have extensive experience, having worked in summer jobs and internships, while others know only their field from the classroom.

Two of the assignments I added this summer have seemed successful regardless of the experience students have. The professional biography assignment and the classification and analysis project allowed them to talk about their field and their experiences in positive ways, but had room for them to research aspects they were unsure of. I wanted to rethink the assignments I was using for definition, description, and instructions to work in the same way. [read more]

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