5 Dec. Final Portfolio W/S 3

Featured Image: The archive of the Danish Broadcasting Corporation

Thank you all for a wonderful first semester at GATech! You all produced well crafted and thoughtful projects that were a pleasure to read, and your contributions to class discussion were consistently insightful and thought provoking. Thank you so much for taking up and working through the ideas I presented this semester. We went a long way in thinking through how people can live in a world after nature. I wish you the best in throughout your time at Tech and on into your what will no doubt be your wonderful future careers!

Class Plan Video

The video covers the following topics:
  • 1. Housekeeping: Course Instructor Opinion Surveys and optional meeting times for Wednesday, Dec 6 and Thurs, Dec 7
  • 2. Final Review of Portfolio Requirements
  • 3. How to Create a Collection and Submit Portfolio to T-Square


  • 1. CIOS – The Course Instructor Opinion Survey
  • 2. I am free to meet via Skype tomorrow morning 9-12 and 11-2 in person in Stephen C. Hall #9 Thursday 11-2. Please email me for a 20 minute time slot.
  • 3. Podcasts are due to T-Square by 5:00 PM tonight, please email me with any questions. The submission requirements are available on the Podcast Assignment

Final Review of Portfolio Requirements

After you have finished your portfolio drafts, keep the following in mind as you review your work:
  • 1. Does your portfolio include a Reflective Introduction: Is the intro. published to its own, separate page 1200-1800 words and introduce your portfolio? Does it respond to the assignment prompt? Does the Reflective Introduction page strategically employ multimodal elements such as images, videos, audio files, and/or links in addition to the text?   
  • 2.Does your portfolio include an Artifact 0: Does the Artifact page include the Common First Week Video, any process documents, an introductory paragraph, and “Artifact Reflections” a-e? Can users play the video? 
  • 3. Does your portfolio include, Artifacts 1-3 (Visual Rendering, Literary Analysis, and Podcast): Do the Artifact pages 1-3 include the final draft of the Artifact, all process documents, the introductory paragraph, and “Artifact Reflections” a-e? 
  • 4. Does every page of the portfolio “efficiently use the affordances of the medium”? In other words, does the design and layout of your portfolio take audience into account?

28 Nov. Portfolio Workshop 1

Finding Common Errors


  • 1. Nice work on the Literary Analysis Essays. If you have questions about your final grades or my feedback, read the comments in T-Square and then email me.
  • 2. Do you have any questions about the Podcast?
  • 3. If you need to meet with me, I will be available by appointment on Dec 7. Email me with a time that works, and I’ll put you down for a meeting.

Final Portfolio 

Reflective Introduction

The following is the checklist of requirements you need to fulfill for full credit on the Reflective Introduction Essay to be included in the Final Portfolio. Take a minute or Two and read through the checklist.

For full credit on the Final Portfolio, you need to compose a reflective, introductory essay of 1200-1800 words in which you draw out an argument from the projects you completed this semester, i.e. the artifacts you curated into your portfolio. A successful Reflective Introduction Essay will accomplish the following:
  • 1. Develop an argument about your intellectual growth as a communicator through the close analysis of artifacts in the portfolio. Make sure your Reflective Introduction is an essay and not a list in paragraph format.
  • 2. Show and tell readers how you met or attempted to meet the course outcomes/instructor’s goals as articulated on the syllabus and throughout the course.
  • 3. Reflect on your strength and weaknesses relative to the course goals/outcomes
  • 4. Describe the methods and modes that were the focus of your communicative work this semester.
  • 5. Articulate areas and strategies you would like to focus on for continued improvement.

Group Analysis: Reflective Introduction

Take 5-8 minutes and read the Reflective Introduction in Kim H.’s Portfolio. Afterward be prepared to discuss the following:
  • 1. Group One: What is the topic or unifying idea of the Introduction? What claims or sets of claims does the author make about that topic/unifying idea? What are some rhetorical gestures employed by the author?
  • 2. Group Two: Describe how the author has organized her paragraphs. Are some parts of the essay more successful than others, why or why not?
  • 3. Group Three: Describe the evidence and analysis in the essay. Does the evidence and analysis fully support and develop the claim, why or why not?
  • 4. Group Four: Describe the design/layout of the first page of this Portfolio. Does the author make efficient or innovative use of the affordances of the genre/tool. What’s your assessment of the page layout? For instance, what’s your assessment of the relationship between the written and visual text? What’s your assessment of paragraph structure?

Reflective Essay Freewrite

Freewrite for 5-8 minutes in response to each of the following prompts. Be prepared to discuss your response with the class after each:
  • 1. Rhetorical Awareness/Stance: From the beginning of the semester to this moment, how have you “grown as a communicator”?

    Your response to the question will form the topic and generate the claim of your reflection. To answer this question, think about the five major communicative modes in WOVEN–have you developed in any one of those areas more than others? Also, think about the artifacts you have produced this semester, what assignments or specific modes within assignments can you point to to show “development” over time? You may also want to frame your claim and subsequent essay in terms of one or more areas featured on the Common Feedback Chart.

  • 2. Draft an outline of the 4-6 paragraphs you imagine will follow from the claim you just generated.

    Organization: While the artifacts in the portfolio serve as evidence, remember, just like in the Literary Analysis Essay, you never want to lead with the evidence. Instead, you want to lead with claim and move from paragraph to paragraph in service of that claim.

  • 3. What artifacts do you plan to analyze to develop & support the claim you generated? (i.e. what final assignments best show your growth as a communicator?)

    Development of Ideas: How can you describe and analyze your own work the way we have described and analyzed images, poetry, essays, and film this semester? What key terms can you borrow from our analysis of design, rhetoric, fiction, and/or film to apply to your own artifacts?

For Thursday, Nov 30

Please be sure you can access the following materials for Thursday’s class:

29 Sept. Reflection.


  • Any questions about the Video composition or submission?
  • Any questions about completing the Student Instructor Agreement Form?

Part I: Course Blog Sign-Up

  • From any page of the course website, click on the course title and number of the section in which you are enrolled (ENGL F2, D1, N2), and then follow the prompts to login/register as a course blog Author.

    Each time you have a post due, you will click on the link to your section, create a new post, and publish to the GATech hosted domain, which is totally anonymous to any user outside of GATech.  

Course Blog Privacy Settings

Part II: Final Portfolio

  • Take a few minutes and read through the Final Portfolio Assignment.
  • Please note a more detailed description of the Purpose/Goals and How-To publish in Mahara can be found in WOVENText (151-58)

Reflection Discussion

  • What is the best part about your video, and what portion of the assignment gave you the most trouble?

Reflection Freewrite/Draft

Take ten minutes and freewrite in response to at least four of the following prompts:
  • 1.What is your argument or purpose, and how did you make the argument or purpose visible in your artifact?
  • 2. Who is the intended audience for your artifact, and why? How is your choice of audience reflected in your artifact?
  • 3. What are the defining features of the genre or media that you are using in this project, and how do you make use of these features?
  • 4.What are the defining features of the genre or media that you are using in this project, and how do you make use of these features?
  • 5. If you had more time for revision, what would you change and why?
  • Consider for the final draft: What choices will you make to revise this list into a 1-2 paragraphs for the final draft of the portfolio?

Tool W/S: Mahara How-To

We are going to work through the following as a class. Be sure to ask ANY questions as we move through the How-To:
  • 1. Go to Mahara (mahara.gatech.edu and NOT mahra.org) and login with your GaTech Id/PW
  • 2. Click on “Create a Page” upper right hand corner
  • Once inside “Create a Page,” “Edit title and description” to read “Artifact 0: First Week Video
  • 3. Edit Content, Text: click on “text” and then “Add” in the pop up window. You’ll be able to reconfigure the position later, so don’t worry about layout till the content has been added.
  • 4. Edit Content, Media: Once the text has been added and published, click on “Media” and then “Embed Media” from the dropdown menu or you can paste a URL from YouTube.

Part II: Environmental Rhetoric

Organize yourselves into groups of three, and respond to the following:

  • 1. Spend a minute looking at the photo below, and describe what you see, i.e. what is being depicted? 
  • 2. According to Nixon what is happening in the scene below and why is it important (264)?
  • 3. In the discourse surrounding the environmental crisis, is visual rhetoric more effective than verbal, why/why not?


Nixon, “Scenes from the Seabed”

  • 1. According to Nixon what how are problems facing the environment typically represented? What are some examples he gives of typical representation? 
  • 2. What does Nixon mean by “slow violence”? Why is slow violence difficult to represent? 
  • 3. What are some examples of representations of slow violence?
  • 4. How do the representations of slow violence Nixon highlights offer an alternative to traditional representations/narratives of environmental disaster?



RQ: WOVENText & Nixon (263-73)


Keep the following questions in mind as you read WOVENText (146-7 & 151-60). The questions are designed to guide your reading practices and our class discussions. You are not required to provide formal answers in class or online.

WOVEN Rubric, or what we are calling in the class “The Common Feedback Chart.”

1.How will the WOVEN Rubric, i.e. “The Common Feedback Chart,” be applied to your projects?

2.How will the WOVEN Rubric provide Macro and Micro views of your performances? (147)

Building the Final Communication Portfolio (151-60)

1. What’s a reflective Portfolio? How does it differ from other types of portfolios you will likely make over the course of your career?

2. Why write “self assessments,” i.e. reflective short essays about your project and process?

3.How does “reflective assessment” help you to transfer knowledge/skills from one course to another (152)?

4. What is the Final Portfolio?

5. What is Mahara?

Rob Nixon’s “Scenes from the Seabed: The Future of Dissent,” 263-273.

1.What does the epigraph mean? What’s the relationship between the epithet and the rest of the essay?

2. Why does Nixon invoke Atlantas in the first sentence, “The island of Atlantis, according to Plato, vanished into the ocean ‘in a single night and day of misfortune'” (263)? Is his opening effective, why or why not?

3. What does Nixon mean by “slow violence”? Why is the process of “slow violence” so difficult for writers to communicate?

4. Spend a minute looking at the photo of the underwater cabinet meeting, how does Nixon “read the scene” (264)? How does the president of the Maldives, Mohamad Nasheen, communicate the slow changes from climate change that his country faces? What does he want to accomplish through his “underwater cabinet meeting”? Is President Nasheen successful, why/why not?

5. What does the planting of a flag traditionally symbolize? How do the planted flags that Nixon discusses challenge older notions of the symbolic gesture (266-7)?

6. What some of intersections between human rights and environmental rights that Nixon highlights through his reading of the two “seabed scenes” in the first section of the chapter?

7. BP brands itself as “Beyond Petroleum” (268). What does BP intend for that slogan to mean? What does Nixon suggest it means?

8. What does Nixon mean by the phrase “technological sublime” (268)? What sorts of imaginative tools do people have to counter the “technological sublime”?

9. Why is it useful or important to frame the conversation about climate change as a contest over the symbols we use to represent what is happening to the world?