Pre-Conference Workshops

Thursday Workshops (6/22/23)


Graduate Research Network (GRN) (All Day)

The Graduate Research Network (GRN) is a network of writing and technology researchers and mentors that collectively sponsor an annual workshop at the Computers and Writing Conference to provide an ideal setting for graduate students to share work-in-progress research with scholars of similar interests. Work-in-progress reviews for work at any stage of completion—from conceptualization to publication—are facilitated with scholars in the field serving as discussion leaders.


Morning Workshops (9:00-noon)

Beyond Design Thinking: Designing for Equity

Aimée Knight, Saint Joseph's University

Move over design thinking! Design research is a popular tool to guide a process of production used by many in writing studies — however, it can be harmful as a stand-alone process. In this workshop, you will learn why and examine three alternatives: Co-Design, Design Justice, and Equity-based design. We will also apply feminist theory and decolonial approaches to create an inclusive, equity-focused design process for you or your students.

WHAT? This workshop features a flexible, equity-focused approach to designing projects and team processes that can seamlessly replace an outmoded “design thinking” mentality. The workshop requires hands-on participation and guided writing activities to create your own equity-based framework for facilitating projects.

WHY? Without a commitment to equity-based and decolonial approaches to our practices, we risk contributing to the reproduction of systemic oppression. Join a conversation where each is committed to creating equitable practices and outcomes.

Composing and Publishing Digital Scholarship

Douglas Eyman, Kairos; Cheryl Ball, Kairos; Kris Blair, Computers & Composition; Patrick Berry, Computers and Composition Digital Press; and Charles Woods, The Big Rhetorical Podcast

Editors from online journals and podcasts discuss digital publication authoring processes from the beginning of research projects to the publication/presentation stage and provide feedback and workshop opportunities to participants. Editors are particularly interested in projects that analyze or promote hybrid practices for engagement and equity.

This half-day workshop will guide and encourage authors interested in composing digital scholarship for online journals and presses. Editors from Kairos, Computers & Composition Online, the Computers and Composition Digital Press and The Big Rhetorical Podcast will discuss authoring processes from the beginning of research projects to the publication stage, including visualizing, storyboarding/prototyping, creating sustainable and accessible designs, querying editors, finding local resources, submitting webtexts, creating podcasts, and revising in-progress work. Authors interested in starting (or finishing) any kind of digital scholarly project will benefit from this workshop. In line with the conference theme, examples of digital scholarship demonstrated in the workshop will focus on engagement and equity (from both analysis and production frameworks).

The Choice of the Rhetor: Using "ChoiceScript" to Code Branching Path and Stats-based RPG Hybrid Digital Storygames

Dennis G. Jerz, Seton Hill University [Virtual/Remote (Synchronous)]

This virtual workshop will introduce participants to ChoiceScript, which is described thus by "ChoiceScript is a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice games (MCGs) like Choice of the Dragon. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience." In a series of instructional videos, I will first walk participants through the process of coding a simple branching-path narrative, then learn how to vary the player’s path through the story by adding statistics driven by player actions, if-then-else statements, conditional options, ending the game, playtesting a draft, customizing the output, and publishing the final product. Ambitious users may also experiment with adding images, textual effects, subroutines, and advanced math.


Afternoon Workshops - TLC (1:00-4:00)

Hybridity Through Play: Discord and the Gamified Course

Lauren Malone, University of Tampa [Virtual/Remote (Synchronous) - workshop materials shared pre-conf via Discord]

Of the many challenges that instructors took on during the first two years of COVID-19, one of the most prevalent was the issue of Zoom fatigue. Teachers and students alike reported feeling tired of the “one-dimensional” meeting space, despite its many useful functionalities. They also reported feeling “lost” during breakout groups, as there wasn’t the same community built up as in the face-to-face classroom. In an effort to address this, the researcher moved their writing intensive communication classes to Discord. Using a server created for the specific class, the researcher was able to create an effective e-Learning environment out of a popular social media platform. Success with this led to a better-designed gamified version of the course. This presentation explores the research behind Discord and virtual learning, the successes and struggles of using Discord as a classroom hub, and building gamified courses that provide for connected hybrid learning.

Left to My Own (Multiple) Devices: Reimagining the Writing Process as a Hybridized Procedure to Promote Disability Access

Margaret Moore, Independent Scholar

This half-day workshop promotes access to the writing process for students and writers with disabilities. Hybridization invites the simultaneous use of multiple modes of instruction and learning in composition classrooms and allows for flexibility in methods used to engage in the writing process. As it allows them to have more control over the technology and resources used (Evmenova and Regan, 2019), the speaker frames this as a benefit for disabled writers. A recent graduate who relies on an Assistive and Augmentative Communication device, the speaker discusses devising a procedure for her writing and research processes tailored to accommodate her specific disability needs. She describes how simultaneously using two devices while researching and writing promotes efficiency in her composition. Attendees will engage in the steps of the writing process—from prewriting to reading aloud finished work—using a simulated version of Assistive and Augmentative Communication.

Adding a Third Dimension to Third Spaces: XR and Educational Support Training

Megan Mize, Old Dominion University; Jamie Henthorn, Catawba College

As teaching and learning spaces change to provide engaging and inclusive experiences, support spaces must adapt to effectively prepare faculty and support teams. Looming on the horizon is the integration of extended reality (XR) technologies into teaching practices. A 2021 EDUCAUSE poll demonstrates the backwards design of such integration efforts, in which the focus is integrating XR activities, but not on training those who will support students using these technologies. Training faculty and staff via XR-enriched activities encourages them to understand potential changes to the traditional learning space.

This workshop introduces participants to the use of XR with a focus on learning scenarios outside of the classroom. Facilitators share approaches to using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in training of faculty, tutors, and support staff. The workshop examines successes and hurdles for the implementation of XR. Participants will leave with several strategies for implementing XR at their institution.