In addition to hundreds of interesting panels related to post-secondary writing, this year’s Conference on College Composition and Communication in Tampa, FL featured more Special Interest Groups than ever. One of those Special Interest Groups was a meeting to help sketch the beginnings of a conference on writing credentials, such as majors, minors, and certificates. Guy Krueger, a Core Instructor and the Writing 101 Curriculum Chair, attended the SIG on behalf of the University of Mississippi. Currently, UM’s Department of Writing and Rhetoric offers a Writing minor, but there is hope for a major in the near future. An annual (or regular) conference devoted to what credentialing writing currently looks like at different institutions and, more importantly, how students benefit from writing credentials in school, on the job market, and in careers would be beneficial in a number of important ways: teachers and administrators would be able to see how successful programs recruit students, how to best market writing credentialing, what courses are most effective and why, what students gain both immediately and long-term from writing credentials, what standards are currently in place for credentialing, and what the future might hold. The group ended with plans to work on holding a conference or workshops at the University of Texas-El Paso in 2016 and will maintain conversations regarding planning over the next several months.
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Out of the Office: Colleen Thorndike Presented at PCA about Using Infographics in the Composition Classroom
At the National Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association conference in New Orleans, I chaired and presented on a panel about using Infographics in the Composition Classroom. My presentation focused on using infographics as supplemental materials for assignment sheets and I discussed how students used these infographics throughout the semester. The other two panelists discussed how using infographics as an assignment lead to students changing their writing process and conceiving writing in new ways. All in all it was a very successful panel that lead to a very good discussion about using visual texts in the composition classroom and how to navigate students’ expectations regarding non-traditional writing assignments. My fellow panelists and I discussed the possibility of exploring these ideas further and collaborating on an article, and, after a suggestion from an audience member, collecting our infographic resources on a website for other instructors interested in utilizing infographics in the classroom. In this panel and the others I attended, I learned a lot about the variety of teaching practices others are incorporating into their classes and ways to relate information to this current generation of students.