The 1's and 0's of Reading: Tools, Tactics and Text Analysis in the Post-Print University

Friday Aug 17   08:30 AM to 09:45 AM (1 hour 15 minutes)

The advent of the digital, screen-based text as the most common document format in use throughout the university has introduced profound changes in how reading and writing are critically considered as academic practices in just about every discipline. Whether these documents appear simply as electronic copies of print works, as we see with Adobe PDFs and MS Word files, or as much more complex, interactive multimedia applications, the very act of reading seems to have been deeply transformed in terms of how we engage with language critically in the digital age. Subsequently, as this panel will argue, strategies for interpreting and analyzing electronic texts both within and outside the classroom need to be reconsidered at increasingly fundamental levels. The profound effect that today’s screens, in terms of mobile, telecommunication devices and also professional desktop systems, have on everyday writing and reading habits cannot be overstated.

This panel presents four separate papers drawn, in part, from an extensive, multi-year enquiry into how digital modes of reading might be usefully and accurately analyzed as new critical practices, distinct from prior methods of analysis applied historically to the printed word. Key to this study now currently in process is to demonstrate if and how students may benefit from reading digital texts using Computer Assisted Text Analysis (CATA) software. Over four academic terms, beginning in Spring 2017 and carrying on through Fall 2018, we will assess numerous text analysis tools developed specifically for postsecondary writing programs, while analyzing complementary exercises on rhetoric and literary style within digital media. Key premises in our work follow closely from a pilot study conducted in 2016 that showed students typically benefitted when engaging with electronic texts delivered onscreen from a significant review and reconsideration of fundamental learning competencies, followed by the re- development of critical reading techniques using Computer Assisted Text Analysis (CATA) software. Each of the four papers proposed here, regardless of research topic, commonly acknowledges that to “read” or interact with text in a digital format is to employ a wholly different kind of medium for a new mode of knowledge construction.

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Associate Professor
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Associate Coordinator of First-Year Writing

Sub Sessions

My Schedule

Add to Your Schedule