A Manifold Syllabus – Prospectus

In the DH spirit of openness — and to offer you all a more complete idea of the syllabus I intend to design for our final project — I thought it might be worthwhile to post my one-page prospectus on our blog. Please do let me know your thoughts and suggestions!

A Manifold Syllabus

Open Educational Resources, Readings, and Textuality in the First-Year Writing Classroom

In preparing to serve as a writing instructor for Baruch College in Fall 2020, I hope to deploy this project as a chance to envision a syllabus whose pedagogy encourages students to unite their reading, writing, and digital literacies toward a generative, multimodal learning experience. Aiming to promote a more intuitive and transactional relationship between reader and text, I plan to collate each of my assigned readings into a single .epub file formatted according to Manifold’s publication interface, with each “chapter” delimited by individual class readings drawn solely from the public domain. With each chapter sequenced in tandem with the linear flow of my syllabus, I intend for this remixed digital publication to afford students a more streamlined, yet cohesive interaction with the course’s assigned readings. In addition, I plan to incorporate Manifold’s annotative toolkit into the “Participation” component of my syllabus, requesting that students post 2-3 public comments on one of the two assigned readings for a given class. Each set of annotations will not only help precondition a space for class discussion, but they will also structure the course’s three critical self-reflections, which will prompt students to choose an assigned reading for informal analysis by situating their comments in conversation with those of their classmates. These critical self-reflections will work up to a six-page academic research paper, thematized according to argumentative topics chosen by students in a participatory poll on the matter. Adopting a process-based model of pedagogy, I plan to offer students constructive feedback on their first draft of this writing assignment, in conjunction with a preliminary grade to be overridden by the grade I later assign to their final drafts. In order to unpack my syllabus into a more substantial pedagogical framework, moreover, my proposal will utilize academic scholarship on topics ranging from critical writing studies, to multimodal theories of literacy, to a student-centered pedagogy of praxis.