About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6480-6488
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

CLOSE READING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: LITERATURE, BLENDED LEARNING, AND PEDAGOGIES OF POSSIBILITY

A. Dominguez

DeVry University (UNITED STATES)
As education institutions across the globe adapt to emergent learning technologies, faculty in the humanities are increasingly challenged to find new methods for delivering material, engaging students, and creating new applications for close reading. In his landmark work S/Z, Roland Barthes suggests that “the goal of literary work is to make the reader no longer a consumer, but a producer of text.” This theory has been the cornerstone of close reading pedagogy in the humanities for over a century. However, as questions surrounding students who are “digital natives” have dominated discussions about technology in the humanities, faculty must necessarily question and redesign the scope of close reading pedagogy. This paper examines teaching literature through a blended model that challenges and reconfigures close reading pedagogy. I argue that in the digital realm, close reading becomes a multi-media model of facilitation that necessitates not only active and critical reading, but engages students through sustained dialogue that promotes visual, comprehensive, and student-based learning. I focus my analysis on the contested space of blended learning models. While blending learning and the rise of eLearning and distance learning platforms have advanced significantly, these new modalities continue to create conditions of possibility that allow faculty to transform students from what educational theorist Paulo Freire describes as “docile listeners” to “co-investigators.” To unpack this argument, some of the questions I interrogate include: How does blended learning create opportunities for students to engage in textual deconstruction through and beyond written response? What are the applications for visual learning and the use of multi-media in literary studies? How do sustained digital dialogues contribute to and evolve the close reading model? To deconstruct this line of inquiry, I use a case study of upper division literature courses that I teach through a blending learning platform at DeVry University. In these courses, the online arena provides key contextual information about the reading for the course, direct and detailed instructions about assignments, and a forum for students to explore course texts and themes as they complete their readings and assignments. Students participate in project-based learning and close reading through independent research projects, online conversations that evolve from the contextualization of texts, the rhetorical impacts of literature, the relationship between literature and socio-cultural models of analysis, and analysis of concrete examples from texts. By expanding this process of close reading through the blended model, students have the opportunity to not only develop a line of literary inquiry and analysis, but to reflect on their own methodologies and inquiry before, during, and after close reading exercises. This “opening up” of the classroom creates not only additional opportunities for students to develop their ideas, but also creates the possibility for a continual dialogue and feedback loop between students and faculty members. More importantly, this model provides a platform to further critical dialogues about the role of humanities in general studies and within the space of the ever-changing university.
@InProceedings{DOMINGUEZ2014CLO,
author = {Dominguez, A.},
title = {CLOSE READING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: LITERATURE, BLENDED LEARNING, AND PEDAGOGIES OF POSSIBILITY},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {6480-6488}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Dominguez
TI - CLOSE READING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: LITERATURE, BLENDED LEARNING, AND PEDAGOGIES OF POSSIBILITY
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 6480
EP - 6488
ER -
A. Dominguez (2014) CLOSE READING IN THE DIGITAL AGE: LITERATURE, BLENDED LEARNING, AND PEDAGOGIES OF POSSIBILITY, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 6480-6488.
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