For the ENGL 329 final project, students work in teams to communicate with the Boise State community about an issue that is important to them for a purpose they determined. Teams were required to consider the appropriate composing environment/medium, and the accompanying rhetorical style, when designing their projects. The issues chosen by the groups included volunteering at an animal shelter, the Komen Race for the Cure, teaching and learning with technology, summer outdoor activity safety, and zombie preparedness.
project management with Trello
agile development & writing projects
I've been toying with the idea of using agile software development principles for team writing projects for some time. Since this not a guide for building new applications, I'll focus on the components that drew me to this set of practices: user stories, responsiveness, and frequent communication. If you'd like to learn more about this approach, I recommend Agile & Iterative Development: A Manager's Guide by Craig Larman. I combed through lots of sites as I prepared to do this, but then I remembered that I like books. So I bought one.
No doubt, the first thing that I noticed about agile is the reliance on narrative terms. I wanted my writing emphasis students to learn some concrete tools for working in teams. It's not that they couldn't work together. In my experience, writing and rhetoric students at Boise State are kind, energetic, risk-takers, and I had no doubt that they would be able to collaborate effectively. However, as these upper-division students neared graduation, I wanted them to have a set of strategies for working as part of (and managing) teams. Likewise, the idea of the writer is steeped in imagery of the solitary writer. We've already wondered what an author is and taught our first-year writers about metaphorical parlors, so I won't rehash all the ways we're already