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CFWT: Computers and Composition Online Fall 2011

Call for Webtexts

Special Guest Edited Issue on Rhetorical Media and the Open-Door College

The central role of the Open-Door College English teacher is to provide learning opportunities that prepares a diverse body of students from across communities to transfer into four-year universities, become employable for vocational-technical and allied health positions, and also, be prepared to understand and engage themselves in civic duties. We use Open-Door college instead of Community College, Junior College, or Two-Year College, citing Mark Milliron’s essay “Saying Good-Bye to the Two-Year College,” in which he emphasizes the time it takes students to graduate or earn certificates in vocational-technical programs is contingent upon the individual students lives. Where two-years is manageable for some students, three or four years may be ideal for another student who enrolled at the same time.

English faculty teaching at Open-Door Colleges strive to create courses that challenge students to recognize common rhetorical situations that they will encounter after our classes and teach them innovative, and perhaps uncommon responses to those situations. However, new media texts have provided a change in how students will choose to answer common situations and with that comes a challenge to the Open-Door College English teacher. The change is our traditional and non-traditional/returning students are learning how to produce and consume interactive, digital, aural, and web 2.0 texts without us. Our students are creating and responding to rhetorical situations of which many Open-Door College teachers are barely aware.

In this call for Webtexts, we ask that participants conceive rhetorical media as texts created and interpreted from three valuable perspectives: New Media texts, Alternative Media texts, and converging media texts. New Media, here, references how students and teachers experience composition and other forms of digitally-mediated communication (Gitelman 2008); alternative media references how students and teachers use their texts to create and positively transform political and cultural situations (Coyer and Downmunt 2008); converging media here is an open-door college’s approach to Henry Jenkins’ (2008) theories and applications of media convergences, or where old and new media come together to create stronger, more meaningful communication situations.

In this special edition of Computers and Composition Online, we are faced with examining obvious challenges to the Open-Door College teacher:

1. To figure out what issues and obstacles specific to the Open-Door College environment keep many Open-Door College teachers from addressing Rhetorical Media texts and the situations and responses they create. Is it lack of technological or pedagogical resources? Not enough time to read/create new scholarship about Rhetorical Media? Ultimately, how might we better encourage and support Open-Door College teachers to learn and teach Rhetorical Media in their English courses?

2. To address how learning and teaching Rhetorical Media can better prepare our diverse bodies of students to respond to new audiences and situations in their personal, professional, and civic lives.

3. And, to ask ourselves and answer if teaching and learning about Rhetorical Media compositions can bring us closer together as a faculty who cares about the success of our students.

For the Open-Door College student and teacher, Rhetorical Media compositions must be experienced in a ways that benefit our communities. Some pertinent questions that can be asked and answered here are:

Theory into Practice:

* How and why are RM texts and technologies logical “fits” to the Open-Door College purpose and student population?

* In which ways do RM compositions create learning outcomes that bring faculty from across our own departments and other disciplines together?

* How can RM compositions add to what constitutes good writing and reading skills at the Open-Door College?

* Can assessing RM compositions help Open-Door College teachers better assess the needs of our students?

* How can reading and composing RM texts prepare vocational-technical students and other member of the community to become marketable in a recession?

* Can creating and communicating with a RM composition reshape the identity or opportunities of a non-traditional re-entry student?

* What are some ways that RM compositions have already enriched our communities? And, how can composing and reading these texts strengthen the reciprocal relationships and expectations between schools, local employers, community outreach programs, and Open-Door Colleges must remain strong in order for our communities to succeed?

* Can teaching RM assist a college in retention?

Virtual Classroom:

* How do instructors incorporate RM texts and assignments into their classes?

* What are examples of student, or instructor and student, RM texts?

* Can teaching RM in developmental composition courses create stronger bridges for crossing over to Credit courses?

* Can teaching RM texts create new relationships between ESL learners and the English language?

Professional Development:

* How do RM texts and technologies help us develop professionally?

* How can RM texts change the way Open-Door College teachers adopt and use textbooks?

* How can learning communities benefit from New Media, Alternative Media, and Converging Media experiences?

Timeline

* Proposals due: October 15, 2010

* Feedback on proposals: November 15, 2010

* Full drafts of manuscripts/webtexts: February 15, 2011

* Editors feedback: April 1, 2011

* Revision submissions: June 15, 2011

Send submissions to guest editors:

Matthew Kim: matthew.aaron.kim@gmail.com
Shelley Rodrigo: shelley.rodrigo@gmail.com

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