||I was an English Tutor with the Iowa State Writing Center from August to December of 1999, then an English Instructor with the Iowa State University English Department from January 2000 to July 2004. I began my teaching career teaching First-Year Composition when I was a graduate student in the English Department. In May of 2001, my first opportunity to teach advanced writing was presented, as the department needed an instructor for the Writing for the World Wide Web course; after that I taught Advanced Composition (Business Communication and Technical Communication) courses.
Most important among the goals of First-Year Composition is the development of critical-thinking skills; I design assignments to allow students to research topics interesting to them and develop authority in their writing, thus challenging them to re-evaluate their positions on controversial issues. (more)
First-semester composition focuses on the writing process and developing composition skills, often using students' potential programs of study as subject material for their writings to allow them opportunities to investigate their fields and determine their interest in their programs of study. Second semester further develops these writing skills with additional exploration of analytical and argumentative skills as they pertain to current events; students gather articles about controversial current events and discuss the various perspectives of such issues to understand rhetorical analysis and the rhetorical triangle. Course materials for English 104: Composition I and English 105: Composition II can be viewed online.
Design Exchange Composition
||The Design Exchange (DX) Learning Community offers additional resources and opportunities (such as workshops to observe and critique upper-level student work and learn about the type of work they will do in their design programs) to freshmen design students at a weekly seminar throughout a student's freshman year. I developed freshmen composition courses that integrated design-related concepts and connected the goals of introductory design courses and the professional design program to those of freshman English composition, showing how design concepts relate to composition (such as the creation process of design and composition projects both being reiterative processes). Our learning community earned an Outstanding Innovations Award at the 2003 ISU Learning Community Institute. (more)|
First-semester composition focuses on the writing process and developing composition skills, using design-related subject matter for paper topics; second semester further develops these skills with additional exploration of analytical and argumentative skills as they pertain to design, such as understanding authorial intent and offering critiques of design works. Course materials for English 104: DX Composition I and English 105: DX Composition II can be viewed online.
Expanding on the analytical abilities developed in First-Year Composition, assignments for this course thoroughly focus on audience analysis, understanding the delicacies of approaching sensitive situations and addressing readers' concerns through diplomatic, professional writing. Students develop writing methods that emphasize clear, complete, and concise professional writing. All course materials and assignments can be viewed online at English 302: Business Communication.
Writing for the World Wide Web
||This course develops writing for the specific rhetorical situations pertaining to the Internet, emphasizing the combination of writing text, designing layout, and understanding underlying HTML code. I developed assignments for this course that introduced the Web with analysis of professional websites in order to gain understanding of existing web-design and -writing principles as a foundation for students' development of their own works within the course. All course materials and assignments can be viewed online at English 313: Writing for the World Wide Web.|
As with Business Communication, Technical Communication emphasizes clear, complete, and concise professional writing, focusing more specifically on explanations of technical and field-specific terms. Students work to develop their abilities to convey complex information in simple terms, analyzing prospective audience's knowledge levels of subject matter and writing to these levels of understanding. (more)
Many of the assignments incorporate explanations of concepts from their individual fields of study; in-class activities utilize a "hands-on" approach, allowing students to see the practicality of technical writing through such tasks as relaying LEGO® instructions (in visual format) to classmates using verbal descriptions to assemble projects, thus demonstrating the importance of effective communication in the workplace. All course materials and assignments can be viewed online at English 314: Technical Communication.
||I recently completed my M.Ed. at the University of Minnesota, during which time I student taught at Washington Technology Magnet School. I developed a number of assignments for the different classes I taught: the sophomore classes were studying Greek Mythology, and the junior class was studying "Lord of the Flies" and rhetoric. The interactive web-based LotF challenge Survive or Die immersed students in a virtual island, requiring their teamwork to survive and win the challenge. Other course materials and assignments can be viewed on my site for Washington Technology Magnet School.|