Uncovering the Algorithm: Teaching Rhetorical Agency in Digital Composition Classroom
Join Professor James S. Miller of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to discuss practical strategies for teaching students to identify, analyze and respond to the role that algorithms play in shaping their reading and writing process.
Among composition instructors, it has become an article of faith to speak of writing as a way for students to exercise their own individual agency. In today’s multimedia environment, however, such acts of self-expression are often extensively (if invisibly) circumscribed by algorithms: bits of digital code designed to set clear boundaries around what students see and say. In order to help them develop greater rhetorical agency, James Miller of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, will present some practical strategies for teaching students to identify, analyze and respond to the role that algorithms play in shaping their reading and writing process. James does so by outlining the step-by-step specifics of a classroom assignment (“Uncovering the Algorithm”) through which students expose and examine the encoded biases behind a particular media text.