I introduce students to Digication in Week One when I show them my course website and have them create their own portfolios. I recommend introducing them to the medium as early as possible in the quarter and allowing them to become familiar with it throughout the quarter’s entirety. When I first introduce students to it, I give them time to simply play around with it, creating a portfolio that they have no intention of necessarily using. “Try to break it,” we have said in our pilot group, meaning explore exactly what the platform is capable of; I would suggest instructors do the same. You will find, just as students do, that the technology is very user friendly. I schedule computer time throughout the quarter for them to continue developing and arranging their portfolios, giving them brief lessons about how to use hyperlinks, imbed images and video, create charts and tables, and play with the arrangement of pages and sections. I also schedule time at the end of the quarter for them to workshop each other’s portfolios, emphasizing discourse and collaboration, just as I would with my writing workshops.
Some students might wonder why they are using this sort of technology in a writing class, and due to this, I find that it is important to discuss purpose with them early and throughout the quarter. Beyond being an excellent medium for students to showcase their work, Digication has also enhanced their understanding of written and visual rhetoric, the relationship between writer and audience, and has revealed to them the possibility of the multiple definitions of literacy. Utilizing this platform emphasizes reflection and composition as a process, and a way to strengthen student comprehension of rhetoric, particularly the canons of invention, arrangement, style, and delivery, thereby reinforcing the different ways students can achieve literacy and rhetorical expertise.