In the Classroom with the DALN

This roundtable session offers both a critical framing and practical discussion of the pedagogical considerations of the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN). For these participants, the DALN has become an instructional resource that deepens and expands literacy narrative assignments. Such assignments have long been valued for their ability to help students resist dominant narratives (Soliday, 1997), recognize the social construction of literacy (Scott, 1995), and develop confidence in themselves as writers (Corkery, 2005), as well as how much they can teach teachers (Carpenter & Falbo, 2006; Rose 1990). The rapid growth of the DALN has accompanied the increasing popularity of literacy narrative assignments; as such, it offers a unique and dynamic site on which we can map pedagogical change and futures. Our experiences suggest that working with the DALN is a necessary component of the literacy narrative project, and that these projects can, in turn, shed new light on the roles of a public archive.  As a new and evolving technology, the DALN provides an opportunity for pedagogical experimentation with students, whether they’re composing/contributing their own narratives, researching/analyzing others’, or mixing methods and media into new, hyrid genres.

The participants bring to the table practices and perspectives from a variety of contexts. Examples range across diverse institutional settings (state universities, small liberal arts, community college, etc.), courses (basic writing,first-year writing, digital composition, global communication, etc.), and media. Assignments themselves include analytic and research projects as well as more conventional autobiographical narratives. In each case, the DALN plays a significant role as an archive, an exigency, a place for publication, and source for information and inspiration.
The goal of this session is to 1.) articulate the theoretical underpinnings that inform panelists’ pedagogical choices, and 2.) collaboratively generate strategies for using the DALN as a tool that helps students think critically about literacy and rhetorically about literacy narratives. Each speaker will provide a brief account of their experiences and the lessons learned, leaving the majority of the session for discussions about adaptation and implementation.