As the professor, I am most effective with active engagement from the classroom community that builds knowledge through the exchange, synthesis, and articulation of ideas. While informative, lecturing about writing has limitations because the writing process of individual writers varies; therefore, a guiding principle is that writing courses are a place of practice. Whether practice means individual and group analysis of heuristic texts, small group and large group discussions, or student-led activities. Ideally, I believe and emphasize the centrality of the members of the class as knowledge-creators and inventive mediators of multiple modes for the appropriate rhetorical decision-making in the communication of critical thought and complex ideas.
(Created using Easel.ly)
Writing in the new media age means a degree of reliance upon the logic of the screen (a la Gunther Kress), and composing involves critical thinking about not only concepts and ideas, but also the appropriate selection of mediation for the given message (McLuhan). For me, critical thinking means rhetorically analyzing texts to find the purpose, audience and expectations of genre in real life and digital writing environments. Effective writing comes from invention and the composing process includes taking a part and re-assemblage of texts to reveal how power moves through the symbolic action of discourse—all of which is context and audience-dependent.
At Bread Loaf 2016, I put this infographic together as an example: