ENG 213: Intro. to Digital Literacies

What is digital literacy? What does it look like? In Introduction to Digital Literacies, students will interrogate the "lived" technologies used in daily life and build upon them to become cognizant and competent in "learned" technologies. Students will analyze and produce multimodal texts to develop a deliberateness in composing digital texts for specific audiences, contexts, and purposes. Our exploration of digital literacy will be grounded in theories of rhetoric, writing, and technical and professional communication.

This course will introduce students to four crucial digital literacies: reading, analysis, and composition of digital texts, and research in digital environments.

  1. Digital Reading: How do we make meaning out of digital texts? What interpretations are possible?
  2. Digital Analysis: How does one digital text compare to another? How does the context, style, author, and audience affect the text? What theories can help us understand particular digital texts?
  3. Digital Research: What digital tools are available for research? What digital cultures are available as sites for research? What are ethical practices of online research?
  4. Digital Composing: What do I have to say and how do I say it in the digital realm? What composing choices should I make to reach my desired communication goal?

Course Outcomes:

By the end of this course, students will be able to

  • Recognize and categorize important genres (such as blogs, wikis, mash-ups, etc.) and categories (such as multimodal, viral, social networking, etc.) of new media communication
  • Apply rhetorical and design principles to new media composing
  • Relate traditional print-based communication patterns and purposes with new media composing and explain the tensions between them
  • Use multiple digital tools and print materials to conduct research and to compose multimodal texts
  • Recognize appropriateness of different sources for composing and researching goals and contexts
  • Analyze digital texts, sites, communities, and/or programs to understand social, cultural, and political implications of digital realms
  • Use common tools for multimodal textual production with proficiency and resourcefulness
  • Recognize contexts (personal, professional, civic, social) in which one lives and how digital literacies affect all of these
  • Recognize rhetorical possibilities of different modes (text, image, graphics, video, audio, etc.) and make sound rhetorical choices when combining modes
  • Explain rhetorical choices made, as a result of both individual and collaborative work reflectively
  • Apply principles of fair use, copyright and documentation conventions for print and digital texts/media.

Dr. McGinnis holds office hours in RB 257 on T/Th from 12:30-1:30 p.m. She is also available by appointment. See your syllabus for her contact information.