21st century digital literacies (in the context of general ed): what are they?
21st century digital literacies include composing in word/Google docs/or other digital spaces that allow for fairly instantaneous formatting (of documents and images, digitally); part of 21st century digital literacies is the ability of a student to make a decision about which mode of composition fits whichever project the student has been assigned.
To grow this ability, teachers should offer more options to students in terms of composition modes. Are we preparing students for academia? Not really, but we should be preparing them for life/the other classes they will take in college. Also, We should try to acknowledge, or even legitimize, everyday writing in digital contexts, especially writing that happens outside the classroom, like Dr. Neal says on page 78.
When/where are they learned and /or assessed?
Right now multimodal assignments are a very small part FYC curriculum; the students have the digital studio here, but in the classroom multimodal assignments are only given a few weeks’ attention at the end of the semester. Do we need to change this? And if so, how would we be able to assess multimodal assignments?
If we think that multimodality is so important to 21st century digital literacies, we have to figure out the practical application for it outside the composition classroom.
Should we expect FYC teachers to know software that allows students to compose in multimodal ways? What kinds of things are we asking our students to do? Why? What about WAC? Are we teaching students to be able to write to meet requirements in other classes? We think so. And if so, then we need to give them the tools to be able to do that, and multimodality is included in this.
Reflective work would be an ideal way to assess rhetorical skills and decisions in this kind of context. Reflections can measure not only how well they approached the assignment but also how they feel about their own performance.
We also think a good starting point, in terms of creating a short rubric, is on page 96 of Dr. Neal’s book- we would want to look at depth, persuasiveness, relationships between modes, media, and texts, relationships to traditional conventions organization, arrangement, progression, attention to audience and context.
-Josh, Erin, Andrew, and Kendall