Origin Stories and Making Writing Platforms

by Douglas M. Walls

A casual video review of George Pullman and Baotong Gu's edited collection, Designing Web-Based Applications for 21st Century Writing Classrooms (Baywood Publishing, 2013).

When I was asked to produce a “more casual” media review for Kairos, I had grand and elaborate ideas of becoming the ZeFrank of academic book reviews. That didn’t exactly happen. I imagine that Ze would not have the difficulties I had pronouncing Karl Stolley’s name (see my outtakes at the end of the video), which reminded me of the old Bugs Bunny gag about “Hansel.” Rather, I ended up trying to match the tone I might take when talking about a work with a colleague (albeit in monologue form). The video was shot on my 2011 Macbook Pro and edited with the cloud-based WeVideo. Graphics were made in Keynote.

Readers/viewers might note that many authors mentioned in this review are male or genderless collectives such as research centers. This reflects both the collaborative nature of the articles in this book (many collectives), as well as a heavily, though certainly not exclusive, male authorship. I’d like to take a moment and acknowledge both the difficulty and importance of including diverse voices in any collection, but particularly one about writing and the web.


Designing Web-Based Applications
Table of Contents

George Pullman and Baotong Gu

PART 1 Writing Environments

CHAPTER 1 Theorizing and Building Online Writing Environments: User-Centered Design Beyond the Interface
Michael McLeod, William Hart-Davidson, and Jeffrey Grabill

CHAPTER 2 : An Electronic Writing Space
Ron Balthazor, Christy Desmet, Alexis Hart, Sara Steger, and Robin Wharton

CHAPTER 3 Redevelop, Redesign, and Refine: Expanding the Functionality and Scope of TTOPIC into Raider Writer
Robert Hudson and Susan M. Lang

CHAPTER 4 The Role of Metaphor in the Development of an Instructional Writing Environment
Mike Palmquist

CHAPTER 5 Creating Complex Web-Based Applications with Agile Techniques: Iterations as Drafts
Matt Penniman and Michael Wojcik

PART 2 Individual, Standalone Applications

CHAPTER 6 Visualizing Knowledge Work with Google Wave
Brian J. McNely and Paul Gestwicki

CHAPTER 7 Students Playing as Scholars and Selves: Academic Synthesis as Conversation Game
David Fisher and Joe Williams

CHAPTER 8 Designing, Implementing, and Evaluating a Web-Based Instructional Application for Technical Communication Classes
David Chapman

CHAPTER 9 Supplementing a Professional Writing Course with an Interactive Self-Learning Document Design Tutorial
Suguru Ishizaki, Stacie Rohrbach, and Laura Scott

CHAPTER 10 Developing a Web-Served Handbook for Writers
Stephen A. Bernhardt

PART 3 Open-Source Modifications

CHAPTER 11 Peersourcing the PIT Journal: The Technosocial Pedagogical Hooks and Layers of Collaborative Publishing
The PIT Core Publishing Collective

CHAPTER 12 Blogs as an Alternative to Course Management Systems: Public, Interactive Teaching with a Round Peg in a Square Hole
Steven D. Krause

CHAPTER 13 Developing a Course Wiki for Accessibility and Sustainability
Karl Stolley

CHAPTER 14 An Interface for Interaction Design: Using Course Wikis to Build Knowledge Communities
Steven T. Benninghoff


LeBlanc, Paul J. (1993). Writing teachers writing software: Creating our place in the electronic age. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Douglas Walls is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric and core faculty member of the Text and Technology program at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include access; the intersections of digital and cultural rhetorics; and social media. His work has appeared in both traditional and new media forms in Computers and Composition, Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, and the Journal of Business and Technical Communication. Walls can be reached on twitter @wallsdouglas.