Course Guidelines

Reading

  • Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl (1995) [On-Reserve]
  • Amaranth Borsuk and Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (2012) [On-Reserve]
  • Steve Gaynor, Karla Zimonja, and Johnnemann Nordhagen, Gone Home (2013)
  • Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman, Pry (2014)
  • Sam Barlow, Her Story (2015)
  • Various articles, chapters, and online material

Work

The graded work for DIG 220 will take several forms, detailed below: (1) engagement; (2) private and public sketchbooks; (3) DavidsonX moderation; (4) a “think aloud” video and analysis; and (5) a final project.

  • This class places a high premium on engagement. It is essential that everyone has carefully considered the day’s material, attends class, and participates. I also expect students to bring the day’s readings to class, well-marked up with notes and annotations (see item 2 below). Engagement also includes one pecha kucha, an exactly 6 minute and 40 second presentation with 20 slides, at 20 seconds per slide.Because much of what we learn this semester will come from each other, more than two absences will lower your engagement grade by at least 10 percent. More than four absences will reduce your engagement grade by 50 percent. Engagement is worth 20% of the final grade.
  • Throughout the semester you will keep a combination of private and public sketchbooks—where you record your thoughts, ideas, and experiments related to electronic literature. The private sketchbook is a standard composition notebook, where you take at least 3 pages of handwritten notes prior to every class meeting about the day’s material. I will quickly check these notebooks at least every other week. The public sketchbook is a blog through Davidson Domains, which you set up and maintain, where you share with the class—and the world—your analyses and creative explorations of digital literature. Your public sketchbook must be updated at least once a week. The sketchbooks are worth 20% of your final grade.
  • From mid-October to late-November an abbreviated version of this course will run on edX, an open online course platform. Hundreds of students from around the world will take this “DavidsonX” course. Some of the very writers, artists, and critics we study will also participate in this online course. Students in DIG 220 will act as moderators and co-teachers for the online course. Responsibilities include responding to the online students’ posts, highlighting particularly productive posts, and making connections between various posts and our own in-class discussions. The DavidsonX moderation and reflection is worth 20% of the final grade.
  • The video think-aloud is a short video in which you and one or two other students read a piece of e-lit and make sense of it aloud. The videos will be shared with the DavidsonX students as models of close-reading digital literature. A key component of this project is an analysis of your own think-aloud and an analysis of a second think-aloud as well. The think-aloud is worth 20% of the final grade.
  • The final project is a “port”—a kind of translation—of one work of electronic literature from one platform to another, not necessarily digital, platform. The process of porting forces one to define the “essence” of a work, and also reveals a great deal about the affordances of technology. The final project is worth 20% of the final grade.

Grading

Daily contributions to your private sketchbook will be checked on a credit/no credit basis. Your public sketchbook must be updated at least once a week, by Wednesday at midnight. Those posts will be evaluated according to this rubric:

3 – Exceptional. The post is focused and coherently integrates evidence with explanations, analysis, or creative work. The post demonstrates awareness of its own limitations or implications, and it considers multiple perspectives when appropriate.

2 – Good. The post is reasonably focused, and explanations or analysis are mostly based on examples or other evidence. Fewer connections are made between ideas, and though new insights are offered, they are not fully developed. The post reflects moderate engagement with the topic.

1 – Insufficient. The post is mostly description or summary, without consideration of alternative perspectives, and few connections are made between ideas. The entry reflects passing engagement with the topic.

0 – No Credit. The post is missing or late, or simply rehashes previous comments, and displays no evidence of student engagement with the topic.

All other assignments will be given a letter grade with a percentage equivalent:

A = 95% /A- = 90%
B+ = 88% / B = 85% / B- = 80%
C+ = 78% / C = 75% / C- = 70%
D+ = 68% / D = 65% /F = below 60%

Inclusive learning

I am committed to the principle of inclusive learning. This means that our classroom, our virtual spaces, our practices, and our interactions be as inclusive as possible. Mutual respect, civility, and the ability to listen and observe others carefully are crucial to inclusive learning.

Any student with particular needs should contact Nance Longworth (x2129), the Academic Access and Disability Resources Coordinator, at the start of the semester. The Dean of Students’ office will forward any necessary information to me. Then you and I can work out the details of any accommodations needed for this course.

Academic Integrity

Students at Davidson College abide by an Honor Code. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form.

Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Classroom Courtesy

While this course embraces the digital world it also recognizes that digital tools and environments complicate personal interactions. Studies have shown that students who use laptops in class often receive lower grades than those who don’t. Even more worrisome are studies that show laptop users distract students around them. I permit laptops and tablets in class, but only when used for classroom activities, such as note-taking or class readings. Occasionally I may ask students to turn off all digital devices.

Text messaging or other cell phone use is unacceptable. Any student whose phone rings during class or who texts in class will be responsible for kicking off the next class day’s discussion.

Late arrivals or early departures from class are disruptive and should be avoided.

Recording

While Davidson College policy prohibits audio and video recording of classes by students without permission of the instructor, I grant permission for all students in this class to make recordings. This statement gives permission to record me during class time. It also gives permission to record other DIG 220 students during class time. Authorized recordings are for the sole use of the individual student and may not be reproduced, sold, posted online, or otherwise distributed unless directly related to the themes and content of DIG 220.

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