We enter this review as collaborators from the same institution, a four-year medium-sized private university. Additionally, some of us bring our collective experiences as teachers from small, liberal arts colleges, community colleges, and large research universities across the U.S. Our levels of teaching experience range from first-year PhD students to an associate professor, with scholarly interests from Renaissance literature to new media theory.

Texas Christian University has strong institutional support for graduate instructors: a week-long pre-semester workshop before the first semester of teaching at our university, a semester-long practicum including a weekly teaching circle, a mentor program, and ongoing professional development. Trends & Teaching in Composition: A Professional Development DVD, according to the Pearson website, is for “those whose training might have been in literature rather than composition,” “those who are new to the classroom,” and “experienced teachers looking for fresh ideas.” Thus, though we have a built-in community of teachers and resources to draw upon that other audiences for this video may not, we believe we also reflect the DVD's intended audience and that our collective perspective, given our multiple viewpoints, situations, and experiences, afford us unique insight into the professional development offered in the DVD.

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On Collaboration

The ten of us participated in two screenings of the DVD, some interactive discussion, and then we worked as a collective on a wiki to bring this text together. Many of us worked together for the first time, and each of us had time to view the DVD individually. During revision, each participant had the chance to comment on and/or revise any part of this review.