Project 3 Sign-Up and Analysis Techniques

This is the post for the Wednesday, February 27, 2015 class meeting.

You will sign up for your interface for Project 2, and then we will talk about analytical techniques and analyze

Choosing Your Interface

yay_its_friday_kitten_memeOnce everyone appears to have settled in, I will ask you to log into your VT Gmail account. Doing so will mean you’re signed into Google Drive too and can view the sign up sheet. Once everyone is logged in, I will open up the Project 2 Sign-Up, and you will add your names. Remember you are governed by the Honor Code.

Analysis of

You all have experience with For our purposes today, you need to think of’s interface and how the site works. Remember that you are looking at the WordPress site, and not at your particular blog. As you think about, try to separate what the overall site does and what the particular theme you chose does. They are different things.

We will consider these ideas:

  1. Think through the rhetorical situation for Audience, Purpose, Context, Author, and Genre.

  2. Analyze the design choices for the tool: Emphasis, Contrast, Organization, Alignment, and Proximity.

  3. Identify the modes of communication that uses as part of its interface: Linguistic, Visual, Spatial, Aural, and Gestural. You can also identify modes that enables you to use.

  4. Determine the affordances and constraints of

To simplify data gathering, I have created a form that you can use to gather ideas and make sure you cover everything. We will collaborate, in groups, in one document today.

I have a slideshow that includes short definitions of the major components of your evaluation that you can use as you work. There is also a blank copy of the form for you to copy and use as you analyze your tool. Use the FAQ instructions if you are unsure how to make a copy.

Today’s Blog Post

Write a post for today that talks about the tool you will focus on for Project 3. Explain what tool you will work on, and why you chose it.

Please focus on why it was one of your choices, what drew you to it, and why you want to explore it. Please do NOT spend this post whining about how it wasn’t your first choice or similiar misfortunes.


  • For Monday, 3/2:
  • For Wednesday, 3/4:
    • We’ll talk about the expectations for the oral presentation (and how to avoid bad PowerPoint presentations), and talk about working with screenshots.
  • For Friday, 3/6:
    • Class will work online. You will provide a summary and related evidence of working at least 50 minutes on Project 3.
  • For Monday, 3/9 through Friday, 3/13:
    • Celebrate. You will be on Spring Break!
  • For Monday, 3/16 and Wednesday, 3/18:
    • Be prepared to work on your third project in class. I’ll share some additional resources, and have a quick conference with each of you to answer any questions. Please be sure to check email before class on Sunday evening just in case there are additional instructions.
  • For Friday, 3/20:
    • Have a draft of your work ready to share in class for peer review.

Getting Started on Project 3

This is the post for the Monday, February 23, 2015 class meeting.

Project 3 Overview

Today we’ll begin work on Project 3. You will be looking at an web-based tool as an example of a digital, multimodal text in a web essay that analyzes how the tool works.

Affordances and Constraints

Example of Autocorrect FailWe will get started with a discussion of autocorrect, autocomplete, and an article about Grandmaster Flash and Grandmas. We’ll use these questions and gather our ideas on Padlet—10:10 class OR 11:15 class.

  1. What are the affordances of autocorrect and autocomplete? 
    In other words, what do autocorrect and autocomplete allow or encourage you to do? What does they make easy for you?
  2. What are the constraints of autocorrect and autocomplete? 
    In other words, how do autocorrect and autocomplete limit your ability to do things you want to do? What do they make difficult for you? Think about which features of autocorrect and autocomplete are intuitive and which features are “hidden” or only available to advanced users. What shortcomings are there to autocorrect and autocomplete?

Overview of Project 3

We’ll read through Project 3. You’ll use information from chapters 1 and 2 of Writer/Designer to help you write your analysis.

Today’s Blog Post

Write a post about a specific experience with autocomplete or autocorrect. You can talk about your phone, Gmail, a word processor, or another tool. Include discussion of affordances and constraints.


  • For Wednesday, 2/25:
    • Read Chapter 2 of Writer/Designer. We will analyze a text in class using the information from Chapters 1 and 2.
  • For Friday, 2/27:
    • Go through the options for Project 3 and have at least three choices ready for the beginning of the session on Friday. The selection is first come, and only one person per tool.