Denise Comer Named Winner of the 2017 Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards

Monday, May 8, 2017

Denise Comer has been named winner of the 2017 Apereo Teaching and Learning Awards (ATLAS). The intent of the international award is to highlight innovative or transformative educational applications of Apereo tools. Comer received the award for her innovation designing Writing 270: Composing the Internship Experience: Social Media and Digital Discourse.

Writing 270 is a fully online summer undergraduate course at Duke that enables students to meaningfully reflect on and productively narrate their summer internships or work experiences using digital rhetoric and social media. The course creates a productive community of writers, where students provide and receive substantive feedback on writing in progress. Students apply internship/work experience to course concepts as they produce digital writing and social media projects, including a blog, a microblog, a digital story, and a digital project of their choosing such as a podcast, video lecture, or infographic. The course connects Duke students who are spending their summers around the world.

Sakai serves as the foundational learning platform, featuring carefully constructed multi-media lessons, interactive forums, wikis, and guided reflections. The course integrates many forms of media, from videos and podcasts to websites and print-based texts, and it fuses Sakai with other technologies, such as WordPress, Instagram, and Google Hangouts for weekly real-time virtual writing workshops.

Writing 270 launched in 2014, when Professor Lee Baker, then Dean of Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs, asked Comer to design a course that would enable meaningful, concurrent reflection on summer internships and work experiences for Duke undergraduates. Writing 270 has now expanded to three sections each summer. Instructional design has benefitted from the advice and support of staff at Duke’s Center for Instructional Technology, and the teams of TWP instructors and teaching assistants: Lisa Andres, Kevin Casey, Kelly Goyette, Vincent Joos, Amanda Pullum, and stef shuster.