Writing Program Administration and Technology: Toward a Critical Digital Literacy in Programmatic Contexts
AuthorSheffield, Jenna Pack
writing program administration
AdvisorKimme Hea, Amy C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractGrounded in computers and composition scholarship, this mixed-methods dissertation project investigates how digital literacy is being represented and instantiated across U.S. writing programs. Using critical theories of technology as my theoretical framework, I draw on three large data sets, including a national survey of 70 Writing Program Administrators (WPAs) concerning programmatic commitments to digital literacy, a multimodal critical discourse analysis of these programs' websites, and follow-up interviews with survey respondents. Based on my analysis of these data sets, I argue that the focus of most programmatic discourses and practices tends to construct digital literacy in terms of how technological tools can be employed to meet rhetorical outcomes. I maintain, however, that with writing programs as a central force in the renegotiation of digital literacies, WPAs are in a unique position, through discourses and practices, to rearticulate digital literacy as not just a skill or means to improving rhetorical awareness for print composing but also an analytic to examine the social, political, and educational forces undergirding electronic texts and technologies—making visible the social relations involved in technology implementation and encouraging examinations of how technologies affect composing processes. This critical approach positions students as not just consumers but producers of new media who are able to become active agents of change in technological environments. Discussing the challenges that come along with taking a critical approach to technology integration at the programmatic level, I suggest a framework for addressing these challenges—including localizing technologies, mapping local practices to national goals, employing a multiliteracies training model, foregrounding assessment, and fostering communities of practice around digital literacy.
Degree ProgramGraduate College