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Writing, research, service, and methods. by Adam Webb 2010. Purpose. The purpose of this research is to develop an effective approach in creating and developing a new model for First-Year Learning Communities that contains a New Media Writing course and a Service-Learning course. .

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The purpose of this research is to develop an

effective approach in creating and developing

a new model for First-Year Learning

Communities that contains a New Media

Writing course and a Service-Learning course.

my research questions
My Research Questions

RQ1: How could service-learning effectively be incorporated into the first-year

program and core curriculum? Should it be its own course?

RQ2: What kind of writing course(s) should freshmen be required/given the

choice to take? Should their be a “New Media Writing” course instead of

a “Composition” course?

RQ3: How can university services such as the Center for Civic Engagement and

Career Services be effectively incorporated into a first-year program,

core curriculum?

research questions continued
Research Questions continued…

RQ4: How can a writing and service-learning course connect and work with

a content course (i.e. such as psychology, biology, etc.) to promote

writing and research?

RQ5: How can writing and service-learning courses effectively teach

students research and writing methods?

RQ6: What kinds of writing assignments and activities would be effective in

a design such as this?

what is service learning
What is service-learning?

What is service-learning? Service-learning is a

method that connects teaching and learning goals

with community service, usually in the form of

volunteering. Service-learning helps students

participate within local communities—promoting

civic engagement and responsibility—thus building

important connections and a greater understanding

of those communities’ diverse needs.

theoretical framework
Theoretical Framework


-Bruce Herzberg (1994, 2000) – Incorporating service-

learning into the composition/writing course

-Thomas Deans (2000) – Different approaches to writing for,

about, and with community

-Paula Mathieu (2005) – The purposes for establishing

service-learning within the university

-Ellen Cushman (2002) – “Sustainable Service-Learning

Programs” (article)

theoretical framework continued
Theoretical Framework continued…

-Linda Adler-Kassner (2001) – Emphasizes Deans’ writing

for, about , and with community

-Dubinksy (2001) – Learning, serving, and reflecting

-Mikolchak (2006) – St. Cloud University in Minnesota

-Posey & Quinn (2009) - Interdisciplinary General Education

(IGE) track at California State Polytechnic University,


-Munter, Tinajero, Peregrion, & Reyes III (2009) - Project

Action for equity: Service-learning with a gender equity

focus on the U.S.-Mexico border (text, collection of essays)

theoretical framework continued1
Theoretical Framework continued…

New Media Writing:

-Lev Manovich (2001) – New Media includes: “Internet, websites,

computer multimedia, computer games, CD-ROMS, and DVD

… but also television programs, photographs, etc.” (p. 43)

-Brian McNely (2009) – “Allopatric, parapatric, and sympatric”


-Anne Frances Wysocki, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Cynthia L.

Selfe, and Geoffrey Sirc (2004) – Writing New Media: Theory

and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

(text by the authors listed)

theoretical framework continued2
Theoretical Framework continued…

-Neal Jansons (2008) – “How to Write for New Media” (blog

article: http://writenewmedia.com/writing/write-media/)

Jansons states:

“Writers write, and we like to think we do it well. But sometimes what we were taught in writing classes and have learned from reading will mean death in online media. This is because the medium is so vastly different and people have different needs from the new media than they did from the old” (Jansons, 2008).

design set up possible
Design set-up (possible)

“Day One Leadership Community” at Mississippi

State University (Learning Community focus)

Website: http://www.dayone.msstate.edu/

-“Pods” that consist of three courses:


--Large lecture (i.e. psychology)

--Large seminar (service-learning course)

day one leadership community
Day One Leadership Community

Consists of:

-Master teachers recruited, trained

-Service-learning expert (visits various


-Support from lecture faculty

-Seminar focuses around guest speakers, creating a

dialogue, asking questions

examples of service in learning communities
Examples of (Service in) Learning Communities

Michigan University Learning Communities:

-Community and discipline-focused

-Fusing learning communities and service-learning:


University of Maryland Learning Communities:

-Different tracks, discipline and community-centered


-Service-learning at the University of Texas article: Does Service-

Learning Really Help?

-The University of Texas at Austin’s Service-Learning Blog

new learning communities model
New Learning Communities Model

Would entail: Teaching writing using technology, web-based formats and conventions, critical analyses of written and visual media, “multimodal rhetoric,” technical formats, and research methods.

Would entail: Teaching students how to apply what they learn in their NMW course and their content course in real life, community service, reflective writing, community-based projects, civic engagements within city/local governments.

new media writing course
New Media Writing Course

Writing-Reading Methods:

-Reflective writing assignments/activities

-Primary research strategies (i.e. plans and goals) and tactics (i.e. adapting and

altering those plans and goals as they go)

-Use of technology, locating, assessing, and understanding the “situation” in

which research and writing occurs (i.e. PBWorks, MS SharePoint, etc.)

-In-class speakers from certain writing and research communities and


Research Methods:

-Focus on the sequence of writing and research


-Planning, goals, motivations, etc.

service learning course
Service-learning course

Writing-Reading Methods:

-Writing structured around and within the community(ies)

-Reflective writing

-Reading and writing on articles about service-learning

-In-class speakers from the communities

Research Methods:

-Center for Civic Engagement at UTEP (other organizations/individuals

within the community[ies])

-The process of volunteering

-The process of conducting field research (i.e. semi-formal interviews, surveys,

connecting the primary data with the in-class readings on service-learning)

reasons why
Reasons why…

Why New Media Writing and Service-Learning


Reason 1: To better connect to research and writing in content (large lecture) courses (i.e. focusing on the teaching of writing and research methodologies (sequence of steps, the process of research and writing for certain situations), not just formats and conventions, that can help the students in their other courses

reasons why1
Reasons why…

Reason 2: To introduce freshmen students to possible career choices, community issues, and the actual types of writing and research needed in order to be successful in their academic and professional careers

Reason 3: To more efficiently connect what the three courses (i.e. large lecture, university/seminar, and composition/writing courses) are doing in the areas of teaching research and writing

thank you

Thank you