Archives: Higher Ed

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Teaching Video Game Theory, Part One: What Academic Study Can Do for Video Games

By Chuck Caruso, Ph.D.

 

This past spring I presented an academic paper on spatial representation in the video game Portal at the annual Textual Studies conference, along with fellow panelists’ discussions of early modern maps and the social and natural spaces in Sebold and Thoreau. The juxtaposition of our various analyses provoked a lively audience discussion. But as we jostled out of the room afterwards, I couldn’t help overhearing one of the curmudgeonly older professors grumbling, “I can’t believe there was an academic paper about a video game!”

But why not? Was I squandering my mental energies and straining my peers’ patience with a topic beneath scholarly attention? The more I considered the issue, the more important it seemed that I continue studying video games. In fact, I “doubled down,” as they say. I’ve already presented another conference paper on the video game L.A. Noire‘s adaptation of the detective genre, and this fall I’m attending a semiotics conference to discuss the paradoxical fantasies of military first-person shooter games. Not only that, but this summer I’m proud to say that I’m teaching Marylhurst’s first ever Video Game Theory class.

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Tradition, multimodal composition & Oscar Wilde

In March 2013, John Caruso posted a two-part series on digital democracy. Those posts prompted a lively conversation here at the Marylhurst blog about digital citizenship, digital writing, multimedia, co-learning and participatory culture. In response to this ongoing dialogue, Tiffany Timperman offers her perspective on composition and multimodality.

by Tiffany Timperman

“The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.” – Oscar Wilde, “The Preface,” The Picture of Dorian Gray

I want to consider the ways that multimodality can enrich composition: process and product. Traditional composition focuses on alphabetic text styled according to a rhetorical mode of writing (narrative, descriptive, argumentative, expository), purpose (to convince, persuade, entertain, inform), audience, and disciplinary guideline (MLA, APA, Chicago Style). Multimodal composition incorporates, as the term suggests, multiple modes to create a whole, and in the sense that we now have new and emerging technologies and materials, composition has increased potential and design elements to draw from.

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The learning relationships of online education

by Eileen Schiffer

I often think of my role in the educational process. I take my responsibilities seriously and am firmly committed to making a meaningful contribution to the university and to my students. At least equally, though (probably more), I’m cognizant of how very much I gain, personally and professionally, from my relationships with the school, my colleagues and my students. While it may seem obvious that each of us in this triad has an impact on the others, in the midst of the daily demands of teaching and learning, we likely take few opportunities to consciously reflect on our reciprocal responsibilities and benefits.

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