FYC Guidelines: 

ENGL 1101 satisfies one of KSU’s general education program requirements. It addresses the written communication general education learning outcome(s). The learning outcome states: students will write & communicate at a college level in various modes, media, and/or rhetorical contexts. For more information about KSU’s General Education program requirements and associated learning outcomes, please visit http://catalog.kennesaw.edu/preview_program.php? catoid=44&poid=5249.

Course Overview/Description: This class will focus on pop culture (music, movies, tv shows, memes, social media, etc) in order to make connections between students, writing, and the world beyond the classroom. Even though this class focuses on entertainment, students are still asked to find ways to connect it to their potential career choice and/or other classes going through university.

Theoretical Justification

Naming What We Know Book cover. Click on image to explore the book sections and concepts.
  1. Threshold Concepts: 
    1. Concept 1.1: We’re writing to learn, therefore, we’re building knowledge of how to write differently and, in some cases, better.
    2. Concept 1.3: Because most of the activities are group based, students will be sharing their own interpretative meanings and ideas with one another.
    3. Concept 1.5: The writing in the classroom is potentially fostering connections and links between students and instructor
    4. Concept 1.9: Students are being asked to make connections to the material being presented, which ultimately means the initial meaning of the material changes (in theory) because of the students perspective.
    5. Concept 2.0: Students are asked to be conscious of the choices they are making in the classroom and in their writing. 
    6. Concept 2.4: All writing is multimodal.
    7. Concept 3.0, 3.1, and 3.5: Because students are asked to focus on how they are connecting with material, and they’re being asked to introduce material they are connecting with, they’re focusing on their own identities and are asked to explore those identities in the classroom. 
    8. Arguable Concept 3.4: Even though I’m focusing on pop culture, there is a heavy emphasis for students to think about their careers and find materials that connect with that interest if they choose to.
    9. Concepts 4.0, 4.3, 4.4, and 4.5: Students are being asked to look into artifacts they aren’t familiar with; therefore, fostering growth and development as writers. They will continue to make improvements in various ways with the use of peer review, instructor feedback, and other various forms of assessment that is intended to guide them to make improvements. Further, taking the nontraditional approach changes the way students think about writing because they are being asked to focus on something that is constantly changing. 
    10. Threshold 5.3 and 5.4: They will do a lot of reflection for the purpose of improving their writing. Further, they are being asked to practice these skills via journal blogs, discussion posts, and selecting material to present for the class to analyze.

2. Teaching Philosophy:  Life impacts how we make connections. When we hear a song we like or watch a movie that we enjoy, we make connections subconsciously that we later discuss in intimate settings. Those same connections made for that discussion are the same connections we can make when writing, formally and informally. Students should be able to find the joys in writing and pick things they like writing about to discover how to improve their skills and techniques for future use.

3. Learning Theory: I want to engage with students in a way that’s fun. I don’t want to drown them in piles of reading and papers; however, because this is an English course that focuses on writing, the readings and assignments will be designed to build on one another and provide tips and tools to help students in future classes and careers. To do this, I want students to be in as much control of how they’re learning and connecting in the class room. This aligns with the Constructivism learning theory, which focuses on students using passed experiences to create current experiences in the classroom. Because one of the key components in constructivism learning theory is socializing with others, the connectivism learning theory is also something I align with. I want students to connect with one another because feedback from peers is useful. Further, building connections in the classroom will help students understand some of those relationships they’ll experience in the professional world. With that, I also align with the Humanism learning theory that focuses on learning about yourself through writing. Because I ask students to find materials they connect with to write about, as well as facilitating an atmosphere that many will discover or recreate their narrative voice and identity, the humanism learning theory will help me navigate and focus my materials on students exploring themselves to create in the classroom.


Major Assignment Description

Literacy Narrative

  • Assignment Overview
    • Because narrative voice is important and unique for each student, this assignment will be largely focused on how students connect with pop culture. In other words, students should focus on the connections they’re already making with pop culture (movies, music, social media, tv shows, etc.). This assignment does not have to connect to the rhetorical analysis, but it may help students in the long run if they choose a topic they want to rhetorically analyze and potentially create an argument for or against. 
    • Learning objectives
      • Students will learn about themselves, learn and explore the connections they’re making, and make valuable connections to how they’re engaging with the world around them. 
    • Thematic focus/Conceptual Ideas
      • The idea of the assignment, much like stated in the overview and objectives, is for students to explore the world around them and make valuable connections, via narrative, that they are willing to share with me and the class. They will further foster a connection with themselves and pop culture.   
    • Incremental steps
      • Weekly or biweekly meme of the week or song of the week exercises where students make connections to what’s being presented and look in themselves to discuss why they’re making these connections and how they’re making these connections. 
    • Writing Processes
      • Prewriting: As stated in the incremental steps section, students will be engaging in making these connections to build up an understanding of looking within themselves to make connections to what’s going on in the world around them. This is meant to have students find something they enjoy, like they will hopefully do when selecting a career, in order to enjoy writing or find a way to make writing less tedious.
      • Research: They’ll bring meme’s or songs to either share in the classroom or to analyze on their own. Therefore, they will be actively searching for something interesting to share with others (fostering a collaborative effort among their peers). 
      • Drafting: Students will have the opportunity to peer review their assignments before submission and get preliminary feedback on their drafts from me. 
      • Revising: After receiving feedback from peers and potentially myself, students can then make revisions and find ways to better articulate their ideas and connections.
      • Editing/Proofreading: This will also be done in the revision process. With the use of the workshop and the instructor, students will be able to develop an analytical eye for some concerns mentioned by their instructor and peers. 
    • Low Stakes assignment
      • Meme or song of the week: Students have the option to nominate what song or meme will be presented in class. Further, their engagement with the discussion is accounted for, however, it will be a journal or a blog post that students will write about the connections they’re making.
      • Freewriting exercises will be presented in class to remove any mental blockages that may hinder them from making connections to the material.
      • (Please note: These assignments will be a completion grade. Students are permitted to write whatever they choose during these sessions, however, they are encouraged to make sure what they write will help them formulate ideas for the upcoming assignment. )
    • Multimodal Components
      • Free blog, meme’s, songs; Because I’m attempting to take a route focused on entertainment to keep students interested and engaged, most of the elements veer from traditional pen and paper writing.
    • Readings and resources
      • Currently, twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and potential TikTok will be a valuable resource for students. If links present themselves for additional reading, I will send them to the students or have them linked in the folder prior to assigning the reading. Therefore, giving students time to complete the reading and digest their own ideas and thoughts. 
    • Collaborative activities
      • Peer review and artifact sharing as mentioned above. 
    • Skills emphasized
      • Analysis, research, connecting to self

(Here is a draft of my Literacy Narrative Guidelines)


Rhetorical Analysis

  • Assignment Overview 
    • Below you will find a detailed draft of my intentions for the rhetorical analysis. However, for the purpose of this proposal, students will use the same elements introduced in class early (meme and song acquisition) to then make connections to the appeals used in rhetoric. Students do not have to stick with memes. The assignment branches out to TV shows, movies, podcasts, songs, and other media sources; they can also go a more traditional route and analyze a speech if they choose. However, there is an alternative assignment that requests students to make something that’s intentionally applying the rhetorical appeals. From there, students will have to discuss what rhetorical appeals they chose, why, and what makes those appeals useful for the purpose of this alternative assignment. 
    • Learning objectives
      • Students will understand the importance of the elements of rhetoric and understand how to use them to construct writing or digital components. If they choose the alternative assignment, they will learn how they are making these rhetorical decisions and how they see them working. 
    • Thematic focus/Conceptual Ideas
      • The intention of this assignment is to simply teach rhetoric and show how it’s applied to form a connection with the audience. It pushes for students to understand the structure of writing and visual aids and how the rhetorical appeals help craft a piece into something that is enjoyed and consumed by many.  
    • Incremental steps
      • Keeping the Meme/song of the week, students will start to explore the rhetorical approaches early on (before the assignment is due). That way they can see how the appeals work. If necessary, short films will be presented to help them see other ways to identify rhetorical choices in media.
    • Writing Processes
      • Prewriting: Just like with the literary narrative, students will be writing about the appeals and their own connections to the material (analyzing how these appeals work for them).
      • Research: They’ll bring meme’s or songs to either share in the classroom or to analyze on their own. Therefore, they will be actively searching for something interesting to share with others (fostering a collaborative effort among their peers). 
      • Drafting: Students will have the opportunity to peer review their assignments before submission and get preliminary feedback on their drafts from me. 
      • Revising: After receiving feedback from peers and potentially myself, students can then make revisions and find ways to better articulate their ideas and connections.
      • Editing/Proofreading: This will also be done in the revision process. With the use of the workshop and the instructor, students will be able to develop an analytical eye for some concerns mentioned by their instructor and peers.
    • Low Stakes assignment
      • As stated in the incremental stage, them journaling their connections to the appeals on their blog, or even on a discussion post, will be lightly graded in order to see how they’re making these connections. 
    • Multimodal Components
      • As stated, we will be taking a step into the digital world and finding different ways to employ what we’ve learned while also composing a written piece that articulates, and shows, students connections to the assignment, the guidelines for the assignment, and the source of their choice.
    • Readings and resources
      • Social media is their friend, Youtube may also be useful. 
    • Collaborative activities
      • Students will be asked to peer review their written artifacts, if they are creating something, they can share the artifact to see how effective it is. 
    • Skills emphasized
      • Creativity, research, analysis.
Image credit: Getty images and time.com

(Click here to view the Rough Draft of Rhetorical Analysis Guidelines)


Argumentative Essay

  • Assignment Overview: 
    • Students will have the option to put two things against each other. For example, two songs on opposing ends of the spectrum/ genres that one student likes and their peer partner/group like (Example: Kpop vs. pop or jazz), can be two different movie genres, can also be putting social media sites against each other. There may be a twist where students have to argue for what they like and against what they don’t like, this is dependent on students. (Please note: Students will be forewarned what is acceptable or not. The purpose of using pop culture based material is to keep political views and other conversations that can be controversial out of the classroom.)
    • Learning objectives: 
      • Students will learn to engage with material to learn and genuinely foster connections to said material in order to effectively articulate their ideas. Students will learn that even though they may not like something, it’s useful to do proper research to help explain why they don’t like it or learn to like it. 
    • Thematic focus/Conceptual Ideas
      • The focus here is similar to what’s stated in the learning objective section; students will be encouraged to deeply engage with the material presented in as many ways as they can. Because music and social media content is short, students should be able to stay attentive to the necessary parts of arguing for or against the other side. It’s important to foster learning, researching, and engaging with material to show students that sometimes, there will be something they do not like or do not want to do that they’ll have to complete at work. 
    • Incremental steps
      • Still keeping with the meme and song of the day, we’ll focus on putting two into conversation and breaking down the rhetorical appeals in each to take a stance on whether it’s agreeable or not (in a respectful way). The questions will be geared to asking what the material means and if there are ways the creator can improve. 
    • Writing Processes
      • Prewriting: Just like with the literary narrative and the rhetorical analysis, students will be writing about how they are making these connections and explaining why they are connecting or not connecting.  
      • Research: They’ll bring meme’s or songs to either share in the classroom or to analyze on their own. Therefore, they will be actively searching for something interesting to share with others (fostering a collaborative effort among their peers). 
      • Drafting: Students will have the opportunity to peer review their assignments before submission and get preliminary feedback on their drafts from me. 
      • Revising: After receiving feedback from peers and potentially myself, students can then make revisions and find ways to better articulate their ideas and connections.
      • Editing/Proofreading: This will also be done in the revision process. With the use of the workshop and the instructor, students will be able to develop an analytical eye for some concerns mentioned by their instructor and peers.
    • Low Stakes assignment
      • Journaling and discussion posts. They will be suggesting songs or memes to their peer, with my approval, and explaining why they think this will be a good opposing view for their peer. 
    • Multimodal Components
      • The use of music and other media. Videos to help students foster connections to constructing an argument and a strong thesis. 
    • Readings and resources
      • TedTalks, YouTube, any music platform. Readings will be assigned later. 
    • Collaborative activities
      • Peer workshops and recommendation; class discussion
    • Skills emphasized
      • Argumentative skills: Successfully articulating what works or doesn’t work. Research because they’ll need to explore the constructs of what they chose. (Researching what others are saying). 

(Click Here for the Argumentative essay guidelines)


Reflection Assignment

Image credit: Medium.com
  • Assignment Overview
    • This assignment will focus on student’s growth in the class. They’ll discuss how they connected with the material and how they found ways to improve their writing. 
    • Learning objectives
      • They’ll learn to make conscious choices on improving themselves and their writing.
    • Thematic focus/Conceptual Ideas
      • Growth as an individual and as a writer.
    • Incremental steps
      • Students will already be reflecting with the use of their journals. 
    • Writing Processes
      • Prewriting: Journals after class discussions will serve as a prewriting exercise.
      • Research: They’ll need to examine their work and what they said about their own connections and growth in the journals and freewriting assignments.
      • Drafting: Because this assignment is more personal, students will complete one draft for comments from me to help them think more about their improvements. There will only be a final draft submission. 
      • Revising: If they choose to submit to me, they can revise. If not, they are in charge of how their work is revised. They can go to the writing center if they wish. 
      • Editing/Proofreading: They are in charge of this. They are free to use the writing center, peers, or myself if they are stuck. 
    • Low Stakes assignment
      • Journal/blog  and discussion posts.
    • Multimodal Components
      • Journals on their blog space
    • Readings and resources
      • None at the moment
    • Collaborative activities
      • During the process, they will be discussing how they’re improving. Before this point, students will also have the option to continue the song and meme of the week. 
    • Skills emphasized
      • Reflection

Methods Of Assessment

Overall Statement

My assessment is focused on how students explore and navigate the world around them. They will be asked to explore how they are making decisions to advance their writing and how they’re helping their peers do the same. If they show engagement and enthusiasm for their topics, they will do well in the class. I want students to make connections on something they are always interacting with or something they enjoy in order to care about how they write and how they’re thinking about writing their ideas. I also want students to apply these techniques and ideas to their career, which is why the assignments allow students to choose their creative style or what topic they’re exploring. 

Sample Rubric:

Screenshot of mock Rubric

References:

https://www.wgu.edu/blog/five-educational-learning-theories2005.html#close


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