First ever English 105 Experiential Learning conference
Published: Monday, May 7, 2012
Updated: Sunday, May 6, 2012 22:05
On May 4, the first ever English 105 Experiential Learning Conference was held. Arranged through English 105 Multimodal Course Director Mark Mabrito and Director of Composition Karen Bishop Morris, the conference showcased a variety of collaborations between students, faculty, and the community for the purpose of putting skills learned into action. The English 105 Multimodal course differs from the regular 105 course due to its focus on technology and real world application.
Morris said the first eight weeks of the semester were devoted to methods, while the last eight weeks focused on collaborative design. Mabrito reviewed the proposals and was “impressed by the creativity and innovation of all the proposals.”
The first project presented was Griffith Public Library: Technology Needs. The group discussed their initial concern over the lack of resources the Griffith Public Library was dealing with. Upon their initial visit, they uncovered that only seven computers were available, the least expensive versions of software were in use and much demand existed for the limited means of supply. They used research and a newspaper article to find out ways the library could attain a much needed arsenal of community attractants, such as Wi-Fi, better software and newer computers.
Up next was Real Issues 2012. Using their webzine to raise awareness to modern issues, they likened it to a “modern day time-capsule.” They stressed the use of relevant images to go along with their articles. “Anchor texts” were used to “provide the audience with definitions for words…[and] keep the text short and readable.” Hyperlinking was also used if by chance a reader wanted to learn more on the subject. In addition to the website, they made podcasts and marketed their webzine through Facebook. Their goals are to “inspire passion” and to “inspire to make an impact.”
The Human Connection followed with a focus on showing their audience how seemingly different topics can be related to major parts of peoples’ lives. They used formal marketing through an ad in The Chronicle and flyers. Their informal marketing methods included the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
The Nutrition Edition dealt with childhood obesity and raising awareness through their webzine. Their marketing strategy greatly differed from the other presentations, as they used an online children’s book called “Riley’s Race.” It was about a rabbit that must make decisions between nutrition and momentary happiness with regards to cupcakes, apples and racing.
Last but not least was The Region Riot. Their purpose was to inform others about issues and enlighten them to start their own “region riot” by speaking out against ideas that are important to them. The topics were social issues, health issues, business issues and education. Their marketing was unique in that the flyers had the squares smart phones can use to access their website. They also went to the SULB to promote their website.
Eventually, a winning project or two will be selected. As for now, students interested in taking an English 105 Multimodal course may be happy to know that distinction between the two courses is rumored to happen soon.