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Remix Assignment


Though I have not assigned a remix assignment myself, I co-taught a course in which the lead instructor had students repurpose their second writing assignment. I found that most of the students were interested in working on this assignment because they did not feel as though they had to recreate the wheel—that is, they didn’t have to start from scratch. But, this assignment is also an excellent way to get students to think differently about the rhetorical situation. Instead of discussing the rhetorical situation conceptually, the remix assignment requires more practical application. Students are not approaching a new writing situation and determining audience, purpose, or genre; students are getting creative in figuring out how to shift or tweak rhetorical elements. This assignment can be taken many different directions by either student or instructor. For example, instructors could require a revision memo in which students articulate the changes they will make and why. The purpose of this is to utilize reflection so that students are making more meaningful decisions. That being said, students can determine which elements to change and why. They do not have to change all of them. Maybe they only want to change the genre. But, regardless of what they change—or don’t—the assignment could ask them to express why they chose certain moves. Also, I would not want to limit students to any one medium. Students should understand that composition can take many forms, and if they feel as though a specific medium better suits their purpose, they should absolutely feel as though they can use another mode of delivery. If I were to employ an assignment like this, I would break it up into a 3-step process:


Remix Assignment


  1. Look back at your completed, returned Writing Assignment 2 and identify what you believe to be the rhetorical elements (subject, purpose, audience, and genre).


  1. Next, write me a short revision memo that tells me how you might go about changing some of these elements. Think about questions such as these: What might this do to some of the other elements? What elements did you change and why? Which elements did not change and why? How would you go about delivering your message?


  1. Finally, after having a short conference with me, start working on your remix and keep a record of how closely you follow your revision memo. (Not sure if I would have them present these final projects, but I think it might be interesting—especially for the multi-modal projects).



Great post! One of the biggest hurdles we face is convincing students that editing is important, that it matters.  So I have begun to break down large paper assignments making 10% of that assignments total grade editing.  While that has helped, it doesn't not always work.  The remix idea might just do the trick.  So thanks.