CCID: Articulating a design-thinking center for multimodal communication

Published in: Proceedings of the 34th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication

Date published online: September 26, 2016

Link to paper on publisher's site: CCID: Articulating a design-thinking center for multimodal communication

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In higher education institutions, writing in the disciplines (WID) and writing across the curriculum (WAC) programs are commonly received reluctantly by other disciplines and programs (Perelman). The context for these programs - servicing schools and departments but remaining apart from them - creates problems for facilitating effective service. At the University of Nevada, Reno, a new program began in 2015, called Composition and Communication in the Disciplines (CCID) and focusing on building student writing, presenting, and multimodal communication. To counter disciplinary reticence about such programs, CCID uses design thinking at its relational heuristic. In this context, design thinking serves as a means to engage with diverse disciplines and modes of communication active on campus while avoiding the perception of imposed disciplinarity. Although a number of scholars have written about the parallels between design and writing (Purdy; Norman), design thinking has yet to be used as part of a writing program in this way. This panel presentation includes a short overview of CCID, followed by details of how and why this design thinking-based, multimodal communication program is developing. Hepworth will focus on how design thinking is used to teach the building of effective multimodal student presentations. Mays will focus on how design thinking can be used to enrich writing, encouraging students to see it as active engagement with dynamic audiences. Macauley will discuss design thinking as an opportunity to improve student agency and self-efficacy as communicators.