My teaching empowers students to be interculturally-aware, digitally-fluent, and rhetorically-savvy writers. While my teaching experiences are varied in both content and context, I consistently lean on rhetoric as a critical framework to prepare students to become both astute analyzers and proficient producers of multimodal discourse.
Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Teaching Excellence Award In 2022, I was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Teaching Excellence Award, which recognises “sustained commitment to teaching and learning.” The university-wide judging panel for this award commended my teaching for “exhibiting a student-centred approach” and for “supporting the university’s efforts to be Te Tiriti-led.” Teaching is always a team sport, though, and I'm grateful to all of my colleagues who have helped me learn more about what it means to teach here in Aotearoa.
Innovative Teaching Award In 2021, I was awarded the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Innovative Teaching Award for the new short course I developed called Get Published: Preparing Your Research for Publication. This flexibly-designed course helps postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early career scholars expedite the process of successfully publishing an academic journal article or other scholarly publication. The judging panel were “particularly impressed by [my] innovative approach to providing feedback to your students, [my] inclusion of Māori pedagogy elements, the real-time academic impact, and the overall excellence of both course design and student outcomes.”
massey university (2019-PRESENT)
Podcasting: Producing Audio Stories Aotearoa's first university podcasting course built for both face-to-face and online learning. This course offers students an introduction to audio storytelling with podcasts. Through the process of creating an original narrative nonfiction podcast episode, students develop skills in audio recording, interviewing techniques, writing for podcasts, and sound editing. Students also learn to critically analyse the storytelling techniques employed in the narrative nonfiction podcast genre. No previous audio experience is necessary to succeed in this course.
Get Published: Revising Your Manuscript for Publication This course aims to help postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and early career scholars expedite the process of successfully publishing an academic journal article or other scholarly publication. Students who have successfully completed this course have been published in top journals in a variety of fields, including science, social science, humanities, business, and arts. This course was also essential in serving some Massey postgraduate researchers who were stuck overseas during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, I was awarded the Innovative Teaching Award for designing and teaching this flexible course, which can be offered online or face-to-face and in 6- or 12-week versions.
Science and Sustainability I am part of the curriculum development team for this set of courses that introduces over 1,000 students annually to key concepts in science and sustainability. With my collaborators in science and Māori studies, I design online learning materials, tutorial activities, and written assessments. My specific contributions focus on science communication strategies, including evaluating the credibility of scientific sources, writing a science blog, and more.
Rhetoric, Composition and the Teaching of Writing This post-graduate course introduces students to foundational ideas, texts, and problems in the imbricated fields of rhetoric and composition. At the conclusion of the course, students mobilise this knowledge in conjunction with their own experience as teachers, writers, and thinkers and produce a final project that prepares them for the next step in their career.
Tū Kupu: Writing and Inquiry I collaborate with other lecturers and co-lead a large team of tutors in teaching this first-year writing course across three campuses and online. This course introduces students to cultures of writing and inquiry at university. It is designed to help students write effectively at undergraduate level by practising a variety of writing tasks, including analytical, persuasive, and research-based writing and argumentation. Students will learn practices of writing, research, peer-review and revision that have application in the university and broader contexts.
Writing for the Public This is a fully online course in writing nonfiction genres for the public, informed by a broad historical understanding of the emergence of the public sphere and its current reshaping in the digital age. Students apply rhetorical theory and theories of argument in their own writing and in analysing works by selected public intellectuals.
Digital Technical Writing In this course, I asked students in this intermediate course to investigate a sociocultural issue in technical writing. For instance, we talked about the significance accessibility in visual communication and the importance of linguistic inclusivity in a bilingual nation like New Zealand. Students then conducted independent research on a topic of their own choosing and composed an audience-appropriate digital report that explained their recommendations on how technical communicators could better address that issue moving forward.
Written Communication in the Information Sciences I led a team of tutors in teaching +200 students across two campuses in both online and face-to-face modes. This course hones students' digital writing, data analysis, and critical communication skills in the broad field of information technology (IT). In conjunction with Massey's recent emphasis on sustainability, I revised some of the assignments to focus on how the Māori concept of kaitiakitanga--or environmental guardianship--can underscore the relationship between IT and the 'natural' world. Some students, for example, researched how the carbon emissions of New Zealand data centres impacted local communities.
Communication in the Sciences I led a team of tutors in teaching +140 on-campus students and +120 online students, including some living in dozens of countries (and five continents!) around the world. This course helps students refine their writing and speaking skills when communicating scientific knowledge to both expert and public audiences. I especially enjoyed the challenge of transforming the large lecture hall teaching environment into an active learning space where students could work together in building diverse and inclusive learning communities.
INDIANA UNIVERSITY (2014-2019)
TEACHING LEADERSHIP POSITIONS Online Instructional Designer As an Online Instructional Designer, I adapted the first-year composition (FYC) curriculum into a fully online course. Using a variety digital media, I designed assignments, modules, and instructional activities for both synchronous and asynchronous class meetings. I also authored multimodal pedagogical materials to help new graduate student instructors learn the art of teaching writing online.
Multilingual Composition Program Assistant As a Program Assistant, I contributed to Professor Katherine Silvester's redesign of the multilingual composition curriculum at IU. I created new assignments, developed inclusive pedagogical activities, and served as a teaching coach for new and experienced graduate student instructors.
CCCCs Workshop Facilitator: "Online Writing Instruction for Multilingual Writers: Strategies for Access" (2018) Integrating my experiences with both online writing instruction (OWI) and multilingual (ML) composition, I helped pitch and facilitate this CCCCs Workshop that unites the interests of two CCCCs Standing Groups of which I am a part: the OWI Standing Group and the Second Language Writing (SLW) Standing Group.
Podcasting: Persuading with Sound I designed and taught the first "podcasting" course in the IU English department. This course prepares students both to analyze the persuasive possibilities of audio storytelling and to produce their own narrative non-fiction podcast with specific rhetorical goals in mind.
Visual Rhetoric: The Video Essay As a pedagogical intern, I worked with Professor John Arthos to design and teach the first "video essay" course in the IU English department. This course teaches students to analyze the cultural impact of film and to compose that critique as a video essay.
advanced composition courses
Technical and Professional Writing This course teaches technical and professional composition through the lens of rhetoric. I augmented the standard departmental curriculum with activities and assignments that helped students uncover the cultural implications of typography and social media.
Service Learning Writing As a pedagogical intern, I worked with Professor Joan Linton to teach a service learning writing course that partnered with Middle Way House and the local homeless shelter. This course integrates students' volunteer experiences with academic research in an effort to produce community-centered writing that resists the "grand narratives" surrounding issues like domestic violence and poverty.
INTRODUCTORY COMPOSITION COURSES
Cross-Cultural Composition I designed and taught the first Cross-Cultural Composition course at IU; it enrolls 50% international students and 50% basic writing students. This course aims a) to prepare students to compose for diverse, heterogeneous, and global audiences and b) to increase cross-cultural communication and collaboration among domestic and foreign students at IU. Online Composition I designed and taught the first online composition course at IU. Each week, students complete a variety of asynchronous activities based on a series of digital media assets that I designed. Then we meet for a weekly synchronous videoconference where students exchange their ideas, questions, and writings.
Multilingual Composition This course teaches analytical writing, research methods, and American academic culture to multilingual students. My version of this course asks students to investigate the relationship between language and culture across different digital and multimodal texts.
First-Year Composition This course teaches analytical writing and research methods to first-year students. My version of this course encourages students to examine the relationship between language and power in various digital and multimodal texts.
University of Montenegro While most Fulbright Fellows teach in primary or secondary schools, I taught a wide array of courses at the University of Montenegro, including English Conversation, Anglophone Current Events, and American Drama. When I returned to the US in 2013, I was selected to give a presentation about my experiences at the annual Fulbright Convention in Washington D. C.
Lieber Memorial Teaching Associate Award Winner of the highest teaching award offered to graduate instructors at IU. Awarded in 2018 by the Office of the President for "truly distinguished" teaching. Visit my YouTube Channelfor a glimpse of my teaching practices and philosophies. Composition Program Teaching Award Winner of the departmental teaching award in 2015 for excellence in composition pedagogy. I have been nominated for this award every year that I have been eligible for it.
Over the summer, I was asked, "Collin, where are the example syllabi on your website?" The answer is, of course, wrapped up in my teaching philosophy. Here it is:
Syllabi often have multiple audiences, but--like most instructors--I design them with students in mind first. At IU, that means that I have chosen to build my syllabi in our HTML-based learning management system (LMS). Rather than creating a .docx or .pdf file and distributing it on the first day of class, I leverage the multimodal affordances of the web-based platform to create a dynamic and interactive syllabus within the LMS itself.
Like any rhetorical decision, this comes with consequences. Specifically, it complicates the delivery and distribution of my syllabi to secondary audiences like you. Importing an HTML syllabus into a personal website is not as easy as it sounds. The primary roadblock is that my syllabi--with their readings and assignments--are distributed across dozens of different webpages in the LMS that would overwhelm this site with clutter. And there are CSS and compatibility issues to consider too.
That being said, I am committed to the open exchange of pedagogical materials and strategies, and I aim to work this year toward making those materials available on this website. So stay tuned!
I am committed to making this website as accessible and inclusive as possible. If you are unable to access parts of this website, please contact me, so that I can address the website design and make materials available in other formats. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @collin_bjork