Keywords in Threshold Concepts, #4c15 Poster Presentation

I’m in Tampa this week for the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication–an event I’ve been attending every year (except one) since 1999. This year I proposed (and was accepted to present) a poster, and after several hours of finessing for more white space, shifting elements around, and tinkering in Illustrator, here’s what I’ll be standing next to for 75 minutes this afternoon.

Keywords in Threshold Concepts: Time-Binding and Methodologizing Disciplinary Lexicon by DerekMueller

Lobotomap 2

The Yesterblog at the right reminded me that I’d put together one of these three years ago, after lifting the idea from here. And since today’s been one of the those mid-fall brain-stew Fridays, using the last few neuronal pulses that remain after this week, I thought why not conjure up another brain map, even declare the lobotomap a triennial EWM tradition. Until 2011….

Lobotome 2

Gliffy and Facebook

The week’s quasi-experiment in WRT302 blended Facebook and Gliffy. In the
session dedicated to Facebook (what of it?), I wanted to prime our upcoming
discussion of networks when we read a few chapters from Critical Mass.
But reading about Facebook didn’t seem to me to be enough. I was mildly
bored with the idea of reading about Facebook. Next, pose as if critical.
Next, rehearse the cautions about visibility and decorum. Thorny! It’s a fairly
reliable pattern that when I’m bored, my students are doubly bored. And

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Two I think of initially: the discourse triangle
– Writer – Reader) and the rhetorical situation (Writer/Speaker – Audience –
Context). Followed by: Aristotle’s: Ethos, Pathos, Logos; Berthoff’s:
Reference, Word, Referent; and my own: Legos, Mentos, Wormholes, and so on. I
made that last one up just now. I’m not convinced that it gets at anything
particularly profound. Heck, it only took a few seconds to think up.

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As Graphs

In with the URL, out
with this: an
approximation of this page.  Movable Type is
responsible for much of the structure. Still, there you have it–a good (and
mighty granular) example of computational methods and visualization combined to
offer up a projection of a localized complex. It looks to me like a dragon fly
(or maybe a cluster map of the dissertation I will one day write).

And. Also.

Nodes from Class

Here’s a Cmap
of the development of modern composition studies, roughly
reproduced from notes on the board during Tuesday’s
712. I went
back and snapped a digital photo of the
chalkboard yesterday
(preserved from the day before with a "Please do not erase"). Then, to
develop the Cmap, I inserted the
photograph as a temporary background to approximate the spatial arrangement of
links and nodes. After that, I quick-shopped a
to emphasize the past few decades as phases of disciplinary
development (fluctuation, upheaval, etc.). And finally, I shifted around a
few of the nodes, repositioned other stuff, tinkered with color schemes and sent
off a draft for future–ongoing–revisions. The map of complandia?
Certainly not; not in any perfected, exhaustive or territory-analog kind of way. But one map of complandia. Next I need to
figure out how to set up Cmaps on a server for collaborative map-making.
I’ll argue that this model holds promise for 1.) mapping complex histories; 2.)
exploring incongruous accounts of disciplinary formation, extradisciplinary developments
running through those formations, and sub-disciplinary peaks and valleys (rising
and falling, trends, etc.); and 3.) charting disciplinary mythologies and
imaginaries through the idiosyncrasies of individual and group
percept-cartography (granted, I don’t know that there is such a thing as
"percept-cartography"; I’m making that part up on the fly). Although this
map came together during a single class session, it could be updated, for pretty much any course, let’s say, over several weeks, possibly accounting for emerging ties and
emerging locative criteria/rationale as the course unfolds.

Gamecast Viz

Sure, they’ve been around for a while, so it’s a sliver shy of revolutionary
that I’m calling your attention to the gamecast college basketball
visualizations provided by
There’s something subtly inviting for me in the gliding mouse-over of the
running score for a full game.  Pause at a spot; get the score for that
moment in the game.  My only complaint: after the game has ended, the
scores page drops the gamecast link and you have to wait a few minutes for the
running score chart to be available again in the recap. Still, much better
than anything going at CNNSI or CBS Sportsline (play-by-plays, stats leaders,


I went ahead and lifted the Brain Map idea from
here and created one of my own. 
I’m not sure how much brain-mapping diffusion proves it as a
full-fledged meme, but I do recommend it. 


Tufte – Visual Display/Quantitative Information (1983)

Excellent graphics are simple, clear pictures of numbers, Tufte argues in
this "landmark" book,
The Visual
Display of Quantitative Information
.  Basic graphical designs–"box plots,
bar charts, historograms, and scatterplots" (124)–have in common principles of
functional simplicity and clarity. Note the review comment attributed to the
Boston Globe: "A visual Strunk and White." I read the first edition, and it’s
currently out in a second edition, so these notes should be so-understood. 
They reflect the 1983 edition–the version that later needed an update for one
reason or other. 

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