Activity Showcase: Adapting Writing for Web 2.0 (Jessie Moore)

Feb 10 2010

Activity Showcase: Adapting Writing for Web 2.0 (Jessie Moore)

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Students practice adapting writing for the Web 2.0 mediums they interact with daily – and that are becoming a more central part of writing in the workforce. Several corporations, for instance, have put their handbooks and other documentation on wikis so that users of their products can help improve the accuracy and usability of guidelines and instructions.

Students should be able to select and integrate multimedia elements that would enhance their text by providing evidence, illustrating a point, catching readers’ interest, etc. They should be able to make basic assessments of how their rhetorical strategies and writing processes might change when writing for the web.

This project works well towards the end of the semester as a capstone or cumulative project. If students know they will have an opportunity to adapt their writing for the web, they can pick topics that allow them to take fuller advantage of the multimedia components they can integrate into a wiki entry.

Materials/tools needed

  • Prior student project
  • Access to a wiki, such as WetPaint
  • Rhetorical analysis worksheet

Overview of Activity

  1. Prior to class, students select their favorite writing product from the class and bring an electronic copy to class.
  2. Instructor introduces Digital Literacies wiki. (5-10 minutes)
  3. Students complete rhetorical analysis worksheet to compare characteristics of the project’s original form to possible features in the wiki. (10 minutes)
  4. Students prioritize two aspects of their project that they could adapt to take advantage of the wiki interface. (5 minutes)
  5. Students post a revised version of their project to the wiki. (15-30 minutes, at instructor’s discretion)
  6. Students reflect on the changes they made and comment on additional web 2.0 features they could use if they had more time to adapt their writing. Students post their reflection with their project. (5 minutes)
    • How do the changes you made take advantage of the capabilities you have when writing in a wiki? In other words, what does the wiki interface enable you to do with your project that the original form didn’t?
    • What additional changes would you make if you had more time? What additional web 2.0 features would you use?
    • How might writing in a wiki change your writing process?

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