Google+ Community

We will our work in a Google+ Community. We will upload images, respond to each other’s ideas, and share links and discussions here.


Course calendar can be found above and HERE.



The intention of these assignments is to invite you to participate in the practices of a literacy researcher. Many of these assignments will allow you to collect and analyze your own data; other assignments will give us a chance to read and discuss current ideas in the field of literacy studies. I look forward to working together.


Response to Readings/Ideas
Due Dates: most Sundays
10@10pts each; 100 points

Each week, before class, you’ll share insights, questions, confusions about the readings for that evening or updates about your research. I would try out some summary work, pull some quotes you want us to consider, and/or pose questions. Here is a link to some prompts that can help guide your discussions.  You’ll post these on a G+ community: LINK HERE. You’ll also respond to a peer each time: post one, then respond to one.

*NOTE: you’ll need to use your Wildcat Mail to join and participate in our G+ community. Here is a video how to for joining if needed (from another class, but same idea): HERE.

Once you’ve joined, you’ll want to change your notification preferences so you don’t get an email every time one of us posts on the G+ community (it’s great to get these as the faculty, but not sure you’ll want them). Link to quick video how to for turning off notifications: HERE

Literacies Self Study
Google Doc shared with
Due: Bring data Sept 4; paper due Wednesday, Sept 9
15 pts (CR/NC)

As best you can, keep track of your reading and writing for two-three days between Aug 27-Sept 3. This will be challenging. You might keep track by taking a photo every time you switch from one literate task to a new one: from email to reading for class to posting on Instagram. Or you might keep a journal handy. As you’re tracing what you read and write, keep some notes about purpose and the ecology in which the reading and/or writing is situated. Try to keep track of time, the kind of device you use (are you reading/writing on a tablet, phone, laptop, book, paper…) etc.

Before coming to class Sept 4, organize your notes and/or images. We will work in small teams in class with our small data set: how could you quantify everyone’s literacy notes? What categories emerge? What literate activities take up the most time? What counts as a literacy?

Finally, write a reflection about your “day in the literate life of …” and share with me in a Google Doc by Sept 9. Be sure to share with

A couple examples here:



Mini Ethnography
Google Doc shared with
Due: various due dates
50 pts

Choose a group whose literacy practices you want to learn more about. The group can be a group that meets face-to-face or it can be an online group. Describe and analyze how reading and writing operates within the group. Use our readings and our discussions to guide your use of terms and concepts.

Begin by closely observing your group for a week. Take copious field notes. Do interviews (online or in person) if appropriate and record and/or transcribe them. You often don’t know what’s an important detail until later. Then read and reread your notes, noticing what seems most important or interesting. Focus in on making a claim about your group, a claim that might consider (but not be limited by) the following questions:

  • What “work” does literacy do in the group?
  • How is literacy learning sponsored?
  • What genres are used? Why? To what extent is new media a component of the work? 
  • What does “literacy” in this group look like? What is its purpose?
  • What is the role of literacy for newcomers? How does literacy facilitate or inhibit membership in the group? What role does literacy play in leadership? How does literacy support a structure of the group? To what degree is the group’s organization hierarchical or egalitarian (or in between)? How does literacy create, support, or maintain that organization?

 Your mini-ethnography should be 4-6 pages long (some may grow longer and that’s fine) and include generous literacy examples from the group you are studying. The best ethnographies will use our readings to support their analysis.

Resources for data collection:

Interview Protocol

Data Matrix (helps to match research questions to data collection)


Book Club
Due: various due dates, but have book in hand by Sept 23
20 pts (CR/NC)

In groups, you’ll read ONE of the following:

Choose and order Book Club text asap—let Kim know which book by adding your name under the book here.

*I expect you’ll order the book online, check out a library copy, or request through inter-library loan. The books are all around $30.00 (digital versions are less) and it’s the only text you need to find for the class.

Your book club group will create an activity to engage the class in the ideas of your book.

Article Teams
Lead Workshop: various due dates
25 pts

During week 7, you will sign up for an article study group that interests you. I will post articles on the area of interest you select to get you started. On week 8, you will meet with your group in class; you’ll come having read through the articles I helped you gather. At this meeting, your group will participate in conversations using the assigned articles as a base, but then feel free to branch out into articles and research that you find on your own as well (including multi modal/video/visual texts).

We will have in-class meetings with your group where you will design a final learning experience for our class, using multi-media, based on your area of study. You must engage us in active learning—we have to be doing something. No serial lectures. Each group will have 60 minutes to facilitate and conduct a learning activity for the class.

Book in a Box Project (15 points)

dates vary

Each week, a trio of you will individually take home the book You Are No Longer in Trouble (Kim will provide you with a copy of the book). You will annotate the book and leave us some sort of artifact for the next set of readers: you could imagine a lesson plan that might stem from the book, write a review, draw a mind map, create a visual representation or drawing of some kind, share a link (on a post-it) to a YouTube video with a vlog about the book, or even create a kind of pop-up book inside. Ultimately, I would think of these artifacts as a “gift” that you leave for the next set of readers: the artifacts are a reification of the ideas.

After 12 weeks we should have 35 artifacts, which I think will create a pretty cool, tattered, bursting at the seams, book. We will have created a new artifact, a dialogue in material form with the book. For the final class, we could think about arranging our artifacts in some intentional way…

Final Exam time
25 pts

Option 1: Reflective Essay

Think of this reflection as a kind of manifesto, answering “this is what I believe about literacy learning and teaching…at this moment.” I invite you to write about your work in the course: what have you done well, what have you learned, how have your ideas related to literacy changed throughout this course? If you are a future teacher, what can you use in your future classroom and what kinds of questions do you still have about literacy? Support your ideas by using what you have learned from the course readings, discussions, and assignments.

Option 2: Ignite Talk

You can work individually or in pairs or trios to bring the ideas we’ve considered in class to life in an Ignite Talk. An Ignite talk is 5 minutes with 20 slides that auto advance every 15 seconds. Share slides with Kim by 10:00am Wednesday morning (Dec 18), so I can make one, long slide deck with timing. No reflection required for this one; just give your talk.

Here are some examples from the Ignite Site.

More examples: Rafi Santos Ignite TalkKim JaxonPeter Kittle and Jane McGonigal

Option 3: Multimodal Reflection

For this assignment, you control the product, process, materials, and distribution. You’ll include a short reflection about what your purpose is, goals, and what worked and what didn’t. Overall: your product should reflect what you’ve learned about literacy. (*For example, here is the website one trio created and the reflection portion HERE) (And another, from Jasmine, HERE)