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.

Multimodal Dig

This is the post for the Wednesday, February 11, 2015 class meeting.

Today’s activity explores the multimodal texts that you interact with every day. The short-term goal is for you to familiarize yourself with identifying the modes of communication. The long-term goal is for you to be able to identify these modes in your own work and think about how you are using them in your Web Portal projects.

Five Modes of Communication

I asked you to read Chapter 1 of Writer/Designer so that we can begin using the language and ideas in the text as you work on your WordPress sites. Today, I want to review the terms that the book covers:

Five Modes of Communication

Image from page 4 of Writer/Designer

Multimodal Dig

Today we are going on a multimodal dig, a personal inventory of multimodal texts.

  1. Begin by digging through your backpack or bag to locate all the multimodal texts that you have with you. Think broadly and creatively. Look for texts, not devices. For example, your smartphone is a device, but Candy Crush Saga is a multimodal text on that device. (Yes, you can read a device as a text, but we’re not trying for that level of analysis in this activity.)

  2. Go to your WordPress site and create a blog post that lists the multimodal texts you have with you. It doesn’t have to be an exhaustive list. Aim for at least 10 texts. Exemplary posts will probably include more.

  3. Once you have your list, label the items with the modes they include. You can use the first letters (e.g., L=Linguistic, V=Visual). See the image above or page 4 of Writer/Designer if you need a refresher.

  4. If you can, take a photo of a particularly unusual multimodal text or of your entire collection and add it to your blog post.

  5. Add some reflection on the items you have listed, using the following questions to help you think about the patterns you see. You don’t have to answer every question. Just use them to get started.
    • Which texts use all five modes of communication?
    • What patterns do you see across the texts?
    • Are they similar types of texts?
    • Were they originally created in the similar time period?
    • Which two texts are the most different from each other?
    • How are the modes used in those texts, and does that contribute to how different they are?
  6. Once everyone has posted, I will ask you to share your most unusual text with the class.

Writing Today’s Optional Blog Post

If you have done a lot of work since your last update, go ahead and write a blog post with the headings (1) What I Did, and (2) Why I Did It. Include whatever work you have done since your last post.


  • For Friday, 2/13:
    • If you have not sent me the URL to your blog, please do so ASAP. I need all the links in order to set up the class megablog. If you’re not sure what the megablog is, you can look at the class megablog from Fall 2014.
    • You will have most of the class time in class on Friday to work, and I will answer questions about your sites.
    • Go to Tests & Quizzes in Scholar, and complete the reading quiz on Chapter 1 (through page 13) of Markel by 11:55 PM on Friday, February 13. I do not accept late quizzes, and you cannot makeup missed quizzes.
  • For Monday, 2/16:
    • Have your WordPress site ready to share in class with another student for peer feedback.