Closing the Rhetoric Class, but not the Discussion

Tonight marks the end of a long and thorough class aimed at developing an understanding of rhetorical processes.  The class, Rhetoric of Professional Writing, marked the first time that Bloomsburg University offered courses over the winter break.  Also, it was the first time I have participated in an online class.  Throughout the length of the winter session I learned a great deal about the online community, rhetoric, and the actions expected of a modern, responsible student.

Admittedly, I did not begin the session under the best circumstances.  Because of a foul-up on my end, I missed two class days and quickly discovered that it would be very difficult to catch up over the remainder of the three week course.  Although this portion of my experience was less than pleasant, it provided me with an excellent opportunity to learn what is expected of a university student.  Thankfully, I was able to catch up to the rest of my class and finish the session with all assignments successfully created.

After spending the last few days, as well as the hours leading up to this particular blog, reviewing what was discussed in class; I have decided to use this blog to asses the things that I found helpful and harmful to the winter session and online rhetoric course.  First, I think the winter session is particularly effective at creating a more flexible university schedule.  Although my own experience lead me to decide that the winter session was not for me, I think that other people will be able to use the session to complete courses they could not otherwise.  Also, I think that the session will become even more effective after it has had a few years to “work out the kinks.”  For the first attempt at providing holiday courses, I do feel that both Bloomsburg and Dr. Martin provided a successful session.

As for the online aspect of the class, I believe it will also come to fill a growing need for flexible learning environments.  Because this was the first semester that the course was offered, there were a few technological problems.  However, this semester and each successive semester will provide the university and instructors with the chance to further refine the course content and online applications.  I think the most effective aspect of the online course, was learning to use new software.  As the world becomes increasingly digitized, this will not only be an employment requirement, but also a necessity for effective social communication.  I am not the most effective person at using online applications but, as I mentioned previously, this class has inspired me to continue using blogging software to further develop my writing.

Finally, I think the class was very effective at demonstrating what rhetoric is, how it functions in society, and the central role it plays in the online community.  Each person uses different rhetorical strategies in their personal and professional lives.  This is especially true for the online community, where there is the opportunity to enact more complex strategies and arguments.  For example, each person engages in rhetorical practices when they create and maintain a social media website.  They use different methods to portray themselves in certain ways with regards to ethical, emotional, social, and intellectual matters.

After participating in this class and this blog, I feel that I have became I more developed member of the online community.  Although I know I will not be returning for another online course or winter session at Bloomsburg University, I also know that my time was used effectively.  It is my hope that the entire collection of rhetoric blogs demonstrate this, and that all future posts will continue to portray my personal development.


Free Writing for Fun

One of the things I enjoy doing; more so than a great many of the other activities and hobbies I have developed a taste for over the years, is writing.  I like to write about pretty much any subject matter, although I will admit I have a preference for fiction, poetry, and religion.  The careful observer will no doubt notice that my writings for the online rhetoric course offered during Bloomsburg University’s winter session do not accurately convey this passion of mine, much to my dismay.

In a previous post, I made a statement about rectifying this situation over the weekend in an effort to make up for lost time; then when the weekend came, I found myself swamped with work and unable to fulfill my stated intentions.  At the risk of further destroying my credibility, I would like to make the same commitment for the upcoming weekend, for two reasons.  First, I always complete everything that is expected of me, regardless of whether or not it is too late to be accepted as part of the graded coursework.  Secondly, I have realized over the course of the semester that I enjoy using a blog for general writing and would like to continue to use this blog after the winter session’s end, in order to develop a catalog of writing samples.

As some of my fellow classmates have said throughout the course, it is important to have both, a portfolio of writing and experience with social media applications.  I believe that a blog on WordPress can effectively accomplish both of these tasks, in addition to serving as a tool for future class projects while I am attending Bloomsburg University.  For example, I also use WordPress to view submissions and communicate with members of Bloomsburg University’s Student Literary Magazine, Warren.  I think it can be used to fulfill similar roles in upcoming creative writing courses and also for sharing work with friends and family members not enrolled in the university.

In addition to learning how to use a blog to post written work and share various types of media, we also used Google Maps in the class to create a personalized map that creates a visual argument for an idea or a specific geographic location.  Like this WordPress blog, I can imagine myself using Google Maps in the future, to post bike routes, share landmarks, and communicate experiences that occur while on the road or off.  Although there are many applications that I already use to do similar processes (such as Runtastic for instance) I like that Google Maps is available for free and that anyone can access it.  Also, I like that Google maps offers a wider range of data and is able to be used for non-athletic purposes.

In summation, I think the most useful thing I have learned, throughout the duration of the winter session, is how to effectively use technology to enhance activities that I do on a regular basis.  I look forward to bringing the session to a close and beginning the long journey through the Spring and Summer semesters with the tools that I acquired over the winter.