The Digital Writing Studio: Helping students with new media

Written by: John Konapelsky

In many writing classes across the university, professors are beginning to move away from the traditional essay and toward new media projects. But not all students may be familiar with digital composing technologies.

Digital Writing Studio

The Digital Writing Studio (DWS) is a service offered through the Department of English to help students who have assignments dealing with new media/digital formats such as podcasts/vodcasts, PowerPoint and Prezi, blogs, wikis, photo essays and smart phone apps. Its aim is to help guide students through these programs and answer any questions they may have along the way.

The idea for the studio originally came about in 2011. Former FIU instructor, Ben Lauren realized that other faculty members were starting to consider using digital writing assignments for students in their classes. Lauren then decided to put the studio together as a resource for students creating digital projects. Now, the studio has expanded assistance to include podcasts, vodcasts and e-portfolios.

Director Christine Gregory

This studio is currently being led by instructor and Interim Director Christine Gregory. Her interest in the studio stemmed from assigning students digital writing projects in her writing and rhetoric courses and having attended digital writing professional development sessions within the writing and rhetoric program. Professor Gregory’s first time working with the DWS was around 2012. She was teaching ENC1102 class where students had the responsibility of choosing the medium and genre for their writing based on what would be the most effective way to reach their audience.

“One student wanted to create a website for his project. The student and I met in the DWS with Professor Lauren. That allowed us from there to work with him on the things he was still learning such as rhetorically effective ways to develop a clear-well supported message within the medium. The approach we took, to start with what the student already knew about digital writing, and about college writing to help discover new possibilities stuck with me since then,” said Gregory.

Gregory also leads a team of 2 interns each semester in the DWS. This semester the interns working with Gregory are seniors Josie Campos and Evan Balikos.

“Most of my memorable experiences have been presenting in classes and introducing students to the DWS. I loved engaging with students and offering helpful information and resources I knew would dispel their anxiety about multimodal projects that mildly intimidated them,” said Josie Campos.

The Digital Writing Studio is located in Green Library 475A. Students are welcome to walk-in anytime the studio is open.

Please visit the Digital Writing Studio website for more information or contact Professor GregoryJosie Campos or Evan Balikos.