Week 8: Ethics, Social Justice, and Intercultural Communication

Thanks, everyone, for your patience on Thursday night with the Google Hangout. Joe, Guy, and I were able to connect and have a short chat, but for some reason, no one else could join our call. Many of us were able to instant message on Hangouts, however, and during the messaging, Ashley suggested that we try SabaMeeting, ECU’s synchronous video application, for our next unit.  I think this is a great idea, and we’ll plan to use this platform starting in Unit 3. Please spend some time next week installing the application on your computer and learning how it works. There are tutorials for both PC’s and Mac’s available in the link above.

Also, this week, I’d like you to begin reading and thinking about rhetoric as a cultural practice. This means that rhetoric and cultural are intertwined, and the study of rhetoric is about understanding how particular groups, at particular times and places, make meaning together. Of course, the production of language and writing are part of that meaning-making process, but so is the production of visual, material, and embodied rhetorics. We make meaning with images, using visual strategies such as contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity. These are document design features you’ll read about on pages 13-14. We also make meaning through the production and arrangement of objects as well as with and through our own bodies.

Consider, for example, the ways we build our ethos through the ways we dress and present ourselves to others. Dr. Katie Manthey, who teaches at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC, explores the cultural rhetorics of professional dress in her project called Dress Profesh. Check out her project which seeks to challenge what she calls the “inherently racist, cis sexist, sizeist, ageist, classist, etc.”  of professional dress codes. Over the last few years, Manthey has curated a crowd-sourced collection of images that work to demonstrate a diversity of approaches to professional dress. Manthey’s project considers the intersections of material and embodied rhetoric, and she works to tease our the ways that professional rhetorics erase cultural difference through their white, male, American, middle class biases.Katie Mathey Embodied Identities Poster

Learning Unit 3: Fostering Corporate Diversity

For this week (Feb.26-Mar.4), complete the following activities:

  1. Prepare to use ECU’s SabaMeeting for a video chat in Unit 3.
  2. Read pages 7-14 in Writing in Professional Contexts.
  3. Explore Katie Manthey’s Dress Profesh research project.
  4. By Wednesday at midnight, share a photo to our G+ community that shows us how you dress professionally. Use the hashtag #dressprofesh. Along with the photo, include a 250+ word post that explains:
    1. The work you do (which could be that of being a student if you aren’t otherwise employed)
    2. What you are wearing and how and why you chose it
    3. How you define “professional”
    4. How you perform “professional”
    5. What cultural conflicts arise for you as you perform professionalism
  5. Consider also submitting your photo and to Dr. Manthey’s gallery. This would be awesome, but is, of course, optional. It would be unethical to force you to participate in a research project if you didn’t want to.
  6. Respond to three other students’ #dressprofesh posts.
  7. By Saturday at midnight, complete Quiz 2. Don’t click on the link until you are ready to take the quiz as you have only one chance to access it and thirty (30) minutes to complete the questions. It is a short eleven question quiz that includes one short answer response. You may use resources to help you, but you’ll need to know where to find them quickly as the quiz is timed.

Midterm Chats (Optional)

This week, I’ll be assessing your Case 1 final drafts, calculating participation grades for the first half of the semester, and entering these and any remaining unscored items into Blackboard. Please check these for accuracy on Saturday, and let me know if something seems off. If you’d like to schedule a midterm chat (through phone or video conferencing) to discuss course performance or any other aspects of the course, I am available from 12:30-3:00pm on Tuesday and Thursday of this week as well as the week after spring break.

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Engage rhetoric as a cultural practice
  • Consider and articulate the similarities and differences between professional and other cultural rhetorics
  • Develop your capacity to assess bias, determine right and wrong, and work toward social justice in BPC situations
  • Continue participating actively in an online learning community, taking risks by analyzing your own performances of professionalism
  • Prepare to take on leadership roles (Group 2: Julie, Victor, Meghan, Cassie, and Josh)  in the online community

Finally

This week’s #dressprofesh assignment asks that you take a risk in our online course community. Anytime we put our own performances on display and examine them honestly with other, we are being vulnerable. I think vulnerability is essential to reflective, equity-minded professional growth. Thus, I ask you to remember that we are all trying to figure out this thing called professional communication (me included!) and what we gain and what lose when we pursue it. As you engage each others’ posts this week, please be kind; notice and appreciate difference; and respond to others’ performances, ideas, and struggles with empathy and respect. Those are essential orientations toward effective intercultural communication.

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week 7: Rhetorical Approaches to Problem Solving

Ernest Hemmingway quote First off, a big thank you to Group 1 who hosted a fantastic Twitter chat on Thursday night! Chris, Joe, Guy, Taylor, and Allison asked really smart questions and sponsored a great discussion about the themes and concepts we’ve studied in Unit 2. If you missed the Twitter chat, you should join them again this Thursday, February 23 for a Google Hangout. In the hangout, they’ll discuss their writing processes for Case 1, share parts of their drafts, and answer questions related to drafting, revising, and editing. Sign up here to participate.

This week you will move your Case 1 rough drafts into polished, edited documents. To help you do that, you’ll engage in the processes of revision and editing, which you learned about as part of your reading in the Canons of Rhetoric section of your textbook. Think of revision as a global process during which you consider the big ideas like your rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, context) and whether or not your persuasive strategies and organization meet the demands of that situation. Cross reference your assignment guidelines and mentor texts in Section III of your textbook to make sure you are following guidelines for organization and that you are meeting the expectations for each genre. Your work here may involve rewriting topic sentences, adding more persuasive evidence, deleting details that aren’t relevant to your purpose and/or moving paragraphs around for a more logical arrangement. Once you are satisfied that your draft is solid, then you move into the particulars of editing, working on style, clarity, word choice and more local concerns like spelling, grammar, and mechanics. I highly recommend reading both of your documents aloud slowly to catch errors on the screen. I also recommend giving yourself a day between editing and proofreading so that you can come back to your documents with fresh eyes.

Learning Unit 2: Rhetorical Approaches to Problem-Solving

For this week (Feb.19-Feb.25), complete the following activities:

  1. Read and respond to your partner’s rough draft by Tuesday (Feb. 21) at midnight. Make sure in advance that you can both access and comment on your partner’s draft. If not, let them know to change permissions ASAP. Partners are as follows:
    1. Julie and Connor B.
    2. Joe and Mackenzie
    3. Ashley and Allison
    4. Anthony and Jacoby
    5. Meghan and Josh
    6. Holly and Monica
    7. Victor and Cassie (update!)
    8. Taylor and Brittany
    9. Guy and Madison (update!)
    10. Connor Y. and Chris  (update!)
  2. In your responses, you should focus on the following elements of the Grading Criteria (also listed on the assignment guidelines.) Note which of the following your partner is doing well and which they could improve upon, giving specific and targeted feedback to help them revise and edit their drafts.
    1. Content (50%): Understanding of the rhetorical situation; Clarity of writing (complete sentences, clear objectives), Effective Organization (use of headings, sections), Thoroughness (covering all required areas). Presence of two distinct documents (research report for company owners and email to employees) that both stand-alone and work together to demonstrate an audience-centered ability propose solutions for problems in a corporate context
    2. Form (50%): Clean copy (polished draft, minimal-to-no grammar or spelling errors), professional language/formal tone, use of professional font size and type (single spaced, 10 to 12 point font size, Times New Roman/Helvetica/or Arial), appropriate formatting for research report and email using models in textbook, consistent margins (between 1 inch and 1.25 inches all the way around), proper file name, permissions set correctly on Google Documents to allow for peer commenting.
  3. By Saturday at midnight, you should post a revised, edited draft of both Case 1 documents, the report to Marauder Skate, Inc. owners and letter to Marauder Skate, Inc. employees, to G+ using the hashtag #c1final. Compose both of these in one Google Doc and use a page break between documents. Make sure that your permissions are set to “anyone with link can comment.”

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Use a case simulation to practice BPC
  • Engage in late stages of the writing process, including revision and editing
  • Give and receive targeted peer feedback
  • Continue participating actively in an online learning community, in both synchronous and asynchronous events
  • Take on leadership roles (Group 1)  in the online community, hosting a Google Hangout

Finally

Remember the you can and should use all your resources– me, your classmates, and the University Writing Centers Online Writing Lab— to help you revise and polish Case 1. As always, let me know if you have any questions about this week’s work and good luck in your revising and editing!

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week 6: Rhetorical Approaches to Problem-Solving

Chart showing modes of persuasion. Ethos, Pathos, and LogosHello, class.  One of the things I noticed last semester in teaching this course was that several students struggled to understand the rhetorical situation of the first case, causing them to write documents that failed meet the needs of the stakeholders described in the prompt. So while my previous students’ documents were carefully edited and conformed to the conventions of the genre, they didn’t quite grasp the purpose, audience, and context that called for the documents to be written. Also, they didn’t carefully think through the use of persuasion for each audience. This resulted in the use of weak evidence, particularly in the research report.

To address these issues and help you produce more effective drafts, I’m having you work again with the contextualizing questions, this time on page 7, to carefully consider the modes of persuasion that you can leverage for Case 1. Think through how you will establish your credibility as a writer, how you will use emotional appeals to help your audience understand the impacts of the options you put forth, and how you will create reasoned arguments that will speak to different stakeholders at Marauder Skate, Inc.

Over the next few days, I’ll be responding to your design plans from last week to guide your thinking as you move from pre-writing to drafting in Case 1. Please note that this week, you’ll continue pre-writing by addressing the contextualizing questions and conducting your research, and then you’ll produce a draft for Case 1 by Saturday at midnight. This is an important deadline; if you miss it, you may not be able to get peer review feedback next week.

Learning Unit 2: Rhetorical Approaches to Problem-Solving

For this week (Feb.12-Feb. 18), complete the following activities:

  1. Read pages 5-8 in Writing in Professional Contexts.
  2. By Wednesday, February 15, apply the contextualizing questions from p. 7 (which are adapted below) to the Marauder Skate, Inc. case study. Create a post on the G+ community using the hashtag #persuasion that answers the following :
    1. In the Marauder Skate, Inc. case study, how are you establishing credibility (or ethos)? What types of information will company owners privilege? How about employees? What types of expertise will you need to display for each of these two audiences?
    2. What emotions (pathos) are appropriate for company owners? For employees? How will you depict these emotions in a compelling way?
    3. What types of logical reasoning (logos) do you need to make use of in this situation? What kinds of claims do you need to make for company owners? For employees? What kinds of evidence are appropriate for each audience?
    4. What types of specific images can you use that will be persuasive to company owners? To employees?
  3. By Wednesday, February 15, you should also share links to three sources in the G+ community (three separate posts) that have been helpful to you in your research for Case 1. Give a brief summary of each and explain how the source is helping you to understand the ethical, legal, and financial impacts of moving physical store-fronts to online marketplaces. Use the hashtag #c1resources.
  4. By Saturday at midnight, you should post completed drafts of both Case 1 documents, the report to Marauder Skate, Inc. owners and letter to Marauder Skate, Inc. employees, to G+ using the hashtag #c1draft. Compose both of these in one Google Doc and use a page break between documents. Make sure that your permissions are set to “anyone with link can comment.”

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Use a case simulation to practice BPC
  • Use Modes of Persuasion to approach BPC problem-solving rhetorically
  • Use and share credible sources to investigate the ethical, legal, and financial impacts of moving physical store-fronts to online marketplaces
  • Use a process approach to writing to produce first drafts for case simulations
  • Continue participating actively in an online learning community, in both synchronous and asynchronous events
  • Take on leadership roles (Group 1)  in the online community, hosting a Twitter Chat

Finally

Unit 2 Group Leaders, Allison D, Joseph B, Guy P, Taylor P, and Chris T., will host the Twitter Chat this week which is scheduled for Thursday, February 16 at 7pm EST. They will ask a set of questions about the rhetorical situation and modes of persuasion in Unit 2, about your research and resources for Case 1, about genre expectations for the letter and the research report, and about drafting Case 1. Please plan to participate at the hashtag #engl3880.

As you prepare for the Twitter chat, some of you might want to use Tweetchat to help you better manage the conversation. Tweetchat allows you to enter the hashtag (#engl3880) and follow and participate in just that hashtag. When you post, you don’t have to continue typing the hashtag in as it will be automatically added. In addition, Tweetchat allows you to buffer the tweet stream, speeding up your reading or slowing it down, whichever you prefer. It lets you know which tweets you’ve read and responded to and which are new as well. There are other chat apps that you can use as well, but I think Tweetchat is one of the easiest and most reliable.

As always, let me know if you have any questions about this week’s work and good luck in your research and drafting!

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week 5: Unit Two, Rhetorical Approaches to Problem-Solving

I enjoyed getting to interact with you all this week during our Twitter chat and our Google Hangout. If you missed either of these, check out the chat archive on the Google Plus community, and make sure to ask questions this week about the contextualizing questions on page 5 in Writing in Professional Contexts. I explained those in the hangout, and we’ll be using them this week to approach Case 1 in a rhetorically sophisticated way.

This week we’re moving into the cases, which will have you practicing rhetorical approaches to problem-solving in business and professional contexts. Over the next three weeks, you will work on Case 1, a simulation which gives you an opportunity to practice recommending actions in a business setting and notifying employees of changes that will occur as a result of your company, Marauder Skate, Inc., taking those actions. To get started on the case, you’ll outline design plans using the contextualizing questions that you read last week.

Rhetorical Situation and Production Strategies

Learning Unit 2: Rhetorical Approaches to Problem-Solving

For this week (Feb.5-Feb. 11), complete the following activities:

  1. Read the Case #1 Assignment Guidelines and write a post on our G+ community by Tuesday that discusses what you think will be most challenging about responding to the case prompt. Have you completed similar kinds of writing before? If so, describe. What do you think you’ll struggle with most? Why? What help do you need? Use #Case1.
  2. Review research reports, company emails, and letter examples in Part III of Writing in Professional Contexts.
  3. By Thursday, create a design plan for each of the two activities in Case #1. Each design plan, one for the research report and one for the employee email, should fully answers bullet points 2,4,5,6,7, and 8 from the Contextualizing Questions section on page 5 in Writing in Professional Contexts. Each design plan should be roughly one page, single-spaced. Post as a Google Doc (set permissions to comment) on the G+ community. Use the hashtag #designplan
  4. By Saturday at midnight, respond to two other students’ design plans and case 1 posts, noting similarities, differences, and anything else that comes up for you as you read others’ work.
  5. Unit 2 Group Leaders are Allison D, Joseph B, Guy P, Taylor P, and Chris T. The five of you will need to convene early in the week to set dates and times for your Twitter Chat in Week 6 and your Google Hangout in Week 7. During the Twitter chat, you’ll discuss Case #1 research and drafting and readings from pg. 5-8 and in your Google Hangout, you’ll share polished drafts and wrap up Unit Two with reflections.

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Use a case simulation to practice BPC
  • Use Contextualizing Questions to help you approach BPC rhetorically
  • Explore genre examples (research reports, emails, and letters) to help you understand genre conventions/expectations
  • Create design plans for BPC documents
  • Prepare to take on leadership roles in an online learning environment
  • Continue participating actively in an online learning community

Finally

Your responses to the #rhetsit prompts were really smart last week, and I think you all are well-poised to take on Case 1 as rhetorically-savvy BPC composers who will think through and work to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders in a given context. Please return often this week to pages 2-5 as you design innovative ways to solve problems as employees of Marauder Skate Inc. Please let me know in your responses to #Case1 if I can help provide specific kinds of resources or instruction as you dive into this first simulation. Remember the you can and should use all your resources– me, your classmates, and the University Writing Centers Online Writing Lab— to help you with the work of Unit 2.

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week 4: Unit One Wrap-Up

Hi, group. Thank you for your thoughtful and engaging discussions on the Major Malfunction video. They were timely as the 31st anniversary of the Challenger disaster was remembered this past week. One of the things that I want you to keep in mind regarding that event is that in the case of both the Challenger and Columbia missions, business and professional communication practices failed to save lives. Ask yourselves, how might these outcomes have been different if those engineers had better training in rhetoric? What if they could have advocated more effectively using their technical expertise? What if they had taken a hard stand together, collectively? What if the NASA personnel had defied the chain of command and pursued the gathering of more information about damage to the Columbia shuttle?

These cases serve as important lessons about the ethical responsibilities of BPC’s. As I (and most in the field see it), business and professional communicators have an ethical responsibility to advocate for the health, safety, and rights of all stakeholders. Many of you are noting that in your definitions of BPC so far, and I look forward to how you will apply these emerging ethical stances to the case studies you’ll complete in Units 2-5. Much of the work that BPC’s do involves negotiating the needs of multiple and diverse stakeholders, which means that BPC’s must be expert problem-solvers. One of the definitions that I find useful for understanding Technical and Professional Communication comes from the Society for Technical Communicators. They write, “What all technical communicators have in common is a user-centered approach to providing the right information, in the right way, at the right time to make someone’s life easier and more productive.

As you may have noticed, I am often switching back and forth between Business and Professional Communication (BPC) as well as Technical and Professional Communication (TPC). The ways that the scholars and practitioners in the field typically understand the relationship between these areas is that Business and Professional Communication constitutes the larger sphere of practice while science and technical communication is a smaller sphere inside of Business and Professional Communication. Take a look at the diagram below:

Diagram, Big circle with BPC with smaller circle inside representing science and technical communication

My own experiences and research, however, contest this definition. I argue that there is a whole domain of science and technical communication which is not connected to Business and Professional contexts, one that needs more attention and study. For example, I research maker spaces, places where people come together to tinker, hack, play, experiment, fabricate, program, and build with a host of shared tools, sharing and circulating technical knowledge. These spaces are rich sponsors of science and technical literacy; however, they are not necessarily connected to business and professional context. Thus, my own mapping of the field looks more like this:

Diagram, Science and Technical communication circle intersects but is not contained in the business and professional writing circle

I invite you over the course of the semester to continue thinking about and evolving your working definitions, deciding how you will embody these terms through your work with BPC concepts, practices, and ethical stances.  So while we’re we’re bringing Unit 1 to a close, your understandings of the field and its commitments should continue to emerge.

Learning Unit 1: Exploring Business and Professional Communication (BPC) as a Course and a Set of Practices, Tools, Place, Bodies, and Commitments

For this week (Jan. 29- Feb. 4), complete the following activities:

  1. Read Pages 1-5 (ending just before “Canons of Rhetoric”) in Writing in Professional Contexts. Also familiarize yourself with Part III: Sample Documents in Writing in Professional Contexts so that you know what’s available to help you in our next unit.
  2. By Wednesday, write a 250 word post on G+ that discusses the concept of a rhetorical situation. What is it? What does it include? Why is this concept important for business and professional communicators? How can it help you approach new BPC situations? Use the hashtag #rhetsit. Read and respond to three (3) other students’ posts.
  3. Prepare to participate in our first Twitter Chat and Live Hangout. For Twitter chats, check out these two resources: Melissa’s Griffin’s Tips and Elle and Co.’s Guide to Twitter Chats. For Google Hangouts, review these resources.
  4. Sign up to participate in the Twitter Chat and/or the Google Hangout. Note, Twitter Chats have no limit to the number of people who can participate. Hangouts, however, are on a first-come/ first-serve basis as only 10 people can participate in any one event. Remember, you are required to participate in four (4) live events over the course of the semester, and you can receive extra credit points for additional live event participation.
  5. After completing this week’s reading, and before midnight on Saturday, complete Quiz #1. Don’t click on the link until you are ready to take the quiz as you have only one chance to access it and twenty minutes to complete the questions. It is a short, six question quiz that covers the front matter in the textbook, the Major Malfunction film, and the course syllabus and policies. You may use resources to help you, but you’ll need to know where to find them quickly as the quiz is timed.

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Explore, define, discuss BPC as a sphere or domain of practice, including roles, responsibilities and ethical commitments of BPC’s
  • Articulate a rhetorical approach to BPC
  • Discuss the elements of the rhetorical situation
  • Understand how to use a rhetorical approach to composing in BPC environments
  • Participate thoughtfully and professionally in live events using Twitter and Google Hangouts
  • Participate actively in a connected professional writing/learning community by responding to others’ content

Finally

Please note that participation is a large part of your grade in this course (200 total points), and I expect you to participate daily (or at least every other day) in the G+ community, posting assignments, raising questions or discussion points, responding to others, and giving substantial feedback on their work. You cannot check in occasionally or show interest simply from time-to-time and be successful. You’ll need to make this course a part of your everyday habits. In other words, if your posts and responses are all logged on Saturday of each week, your participation grade will hover around 14%.

Please know that the research and writing you all have done over the last few weeks will become the basis of our synchronous, live discussions this week on both Twitter and Google Hangouts. If you are participating, please be ready to reference and discuss your work, your questions, the connections you are making, and the knowledge you are gaining about BPC as a domain of practice. Don’t forget, these events are scheduled as follows:

  • Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00pm for the Twitter Chat @ #engl3880
  • Saturday, February 4 at 12:00pm for the Google Hangout

As I have communicated, I will be serving as the host facilitator for these two events. Student facilitators will be chosen for Unit 2 events next week and those facilitators will choose the dates and times for their live events. Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to seeing you live online this week!

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week 3: Defining Business and Professional Communication

Happy Sunday, everyone. I’ve down in New Orleans this week for a meeting with the National Writing Project, and I’ve been having a great time eating beignets and taking a look at your metro maps. It seems many of you have had some significant business and professional writing experiences already. Some of your metro map designs, however, weren’t clear about the kinds of Business and Professional Communication (BPC) “stops” you anticipate in your future careers, so I’ve set up a collaborative Google Doc so that we can capture those anticipations.beignets and coffee

This week, we’re working to define this sphere of practice called Business and Professional Communication (BPC) by exploring the roles, responsibilities, ethical commitments, and communication practices of business and professional writers. As such, you will do some research on your own into the field and watch the video Major Malfunction as a way of approaching a working definition.

Learning Unit 1: Exploring Business and Professional Communication (BPC) as a Course and a Set of Practices, Tools, Place, Bodies, and Commitments

For this week (Jan. 22- Jan. 28), complete the following activities:

  1. Read through the following questions to guide your viewing, then watch the video Major Malfunction.
    1. What do you notice about the flight control communication practices? What kinds of discourse is used? What kinds of body language do you notice? What do yo notice about how citizens on the ground respond?
    2. How would describe NASA’s professional ethos (see page 6 in your textbook) before and after the Challenger explosion?
    3.  What kinds of specialized industry and technical knowledge does this video provide for you, the viewer? How is it communicated?
    4. What values were underwriting the Apollo missions? How did those values cause ethical dilemmas? What kinds of failures materialized in relation to these values?
    5. What is acceptable risk? Who gets to decide? What kinds of knowledge-making guide these decisions? Which kinds of knowledge-making practices are ignored? How is risk communicated? Whose role is it to communicate risk?
    6. Why does Mulloy say the accident was inevitable? Do you agree or disagree?
    7. Why is organizational change so hard to enact?  How does the Columbia tragedy underscore this notion? Whose role is it to advocate for users’ health, safety, sustainability, and general well-being?
  2. By Wednesday, January 25 choose two (2) of the questions above to address in a substantial (250+ words) post on Google+. Use the hashtag #Challenger for your post. Between Wednesday and Saturday, give a substantial response (100+ words) to three classmates’ #Challenger posts to discuss their interpretations and claims.
  3. Over the week, research this sphere/domain/community of practice called Business and Professional Communication. You should look at academic business and professional writing/communication programs, majors, and degrees; business and professional writing professional organizations; and academic journals and trade publications in the field. When you find a good source, share it on G+ with others using the #BPC.
  4. By Saturday, January 28 at midnight, sign up or use an existing Google Account. Create a new Google Document. Title it “Defining Business and Professional Communication.” Change the permissions on the document to “anyone with link can comment.” Share the link on the G+ community and use the hashtag #definition in your post. In the Google Document, you should write a 500-750 word essay that addresses the following using (and citing) your research:
    1. What is Business & Professional Communication?
    2. What does it include? What does it not include?
    3. What genres do Business & Professional Communicators work in/with?
    4. What practices do Business & Professional Communicators engage?
    5. What commitments, values, and ethical stances should Business and Professional Communicators aspire to uphold?
    6. What professional organizations exist to support BPC’s and what kinds of support do they offer?
  5. Add your future BPW stops/genres to the Collaborative Google Document.

Week Three Learning Goals

  • Explore and define BPC as a sphere or domain of practice
  • Discuss the significance of BPC practices
  • Consider the challenges and conflicts of BPC’s working in organizational settings
  • Consider the roles, responsibilities, ethical commitments of BPC
  • Participate actively in a connected professional writing/learning community by responding to others’ content

Finally

I’ve set up the grade book function in Blackboard, so you should be able to see the points you have earned thus far for your activities. Please let me know if this isn’t the case.

Please know that the research and writing you all are doing this week will become the basis of our synchronous, live discussions next week on both Twitter and Google Hangouts. Based on your availabilities, I’ve chosen the following dates/times for these events:

  • Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00pm for the Twitter Chat @ #engl3880
  • Saturday, February 4 at 12:00pm for the Google Hangout

I will be serving as the host facilitator for these two events. Please plan to participate if you can as four (4) are required over the semester (additional for extra credit), and in future events, you (in groups) will take over facilitation.  Look out for tutorials to get you started with Twitter and Hangouts in next Sunday’s newsletter.

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett

Week Two: Past & Future Writing Stops

Hi, class! I enjoyed learning a little more about you from your Week 1 Introductions, and I’m excited to continue getting to know you as writers through this week’s Metro Map assignment. So far, there seems to be a lot of excitement and a little nervousness about the non-traditional course structure, which is to be expected when encountering new learning experiences. I haven’t seen any questions that need addressing in your #syllabus posts, but if/when questions about the course arise, please do post and ask.

Remember that the drop/add period ends on Tuesday, so you’ll want to make sure you are clear about course expectations. By staying in the course–which I hope you do–you are agreeing to the policies, rules, and regulations outlined therein. About those policies…remember that you are required to post and respond to others’ posts by the Saturday midnight deadline. That means that you should not wait until Saturday to post your own responses. Do you best to post your contributions earlier in the week so you can both give and receive feedback by the week’s end.

 

Learning Unit 1: Exploring Business and Professional Writing (BPW) as a Course and a Set of Practices, Tools, Place, Bodies, and Commitments

For this week (Jan. 15- Jan. 21), complete the following activities:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the textbook, Writing in Professional Contexts. Read pages iii-viii, reviewing the front matter–Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Preface, and Introduction.
  2. After reading, post a response on G+ that addresses the following: What surprises, intrigues, or bothers you about the ways this text is composed? What do you think about the authors’ statement that “This textbook is purposely not organized around major themes and genres” (vi)? What is your current understanding of rhetoric as a way of approaching communication situations?  Use the hashtag #textbook.
  3. Compose a Metro Map of Your past writing experience and future stops.
    1. Brainstorm a list of 25 (or more) specific writing experiences or moments in your life. These can be in-school, out-of-school, professional, creative, digital, or analogue. Anything counts from writing on the bathroom wall in middle school to composing a blog posts for your fashion blog to writing incident reports for your lifeguarding job.
    2. After you have a brainstormed a long list, begin to categorize them according to themes. You might use broad categories like “Business and Professional Writing” or “Academic Writing” or use more specific categories like “Instagram Posts” or “Property Management Writing.” Each category should have multiple moments, and you should also brainstorm future experiences you might have in the different categories, both in this class (refer to the textbook cases) and out of this class in your professions.
    3. Using the writing moments you brainstormed and the themes/categories you created, make a metro map of your writing experiences. Color code the routes and stops according to the themes. Now draw out your “writing routes” including these moments as your stops. Make sure to add future stops that represent the kinds of business and professional writing that you anticipate in your careers/professions. Use the examples below for inspiration, and use any tools you want to compose: markers and paper, graphic design/illustration software, interactive maps, etc.
    4. Post a high quality photo of or digital link to your map on the Google+ community and use the hashtag #metromap. Post in time for others to comment and give feedback by the end of the week.
  4. As these metro maps and reading discussion posts trickle in, read through others’ maps and posts and leave feedback. Make connections, ask questions, make observations and start conversations. Respond to a minimum of three (3) #textbook posts and three (3) #metromap posts this week.

Metro Map Examples

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Week Two Learning Goals

  • Review, critically consider, and discuss the content and organization of the textbook
  • Consider your past and contemporary written genres, experiences, purposes
  • Consider the written genres, experiences, purposes that you will likely encounter in your future careers/professions
  • Create a visual Metro Map of your past and future writing experiences
  • Participate actively in a connected professional writing/learning community by responding to others’ content

Finally

Our asynchronous G+ community is emerging, and I’m looking forward to connecting through live events in the coming weeks. It looks like the following times are most convenient for scheduling our first Hangout and Twitter Chat at the end of the month:

  • Sunday, January 29 at 2:00pm
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 8:00pm
  • Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, February 2 at 8:00pm
  • Friday, February 3 at 1:00pm
  • Saturday, February 4 at 12:00pm
  • Saturday, February 4 at 1:00pm

Tentatively block off these times, but know that I will confirm both synchronous events in next Sunday’s newsletter. Remember that you are required to attend four (4) of these events over the course of the semester, and you will receive extra credit points (up to 50) for attending additional events. I’ll send out tutorials for participating in both the coming weeks.

Best,

Instructor West-Puckett