WRTG 3090 Open Topics in Writing: Advanced: Digital Literacies (2 credits)

Instructor Contact:

Elissa Hutson, MFA

Email: Elizabeth.M.Hutson@colorado.edu

About the Course:

Welcome to WRTG 3090 – Digital Literacies! This 2-credit course is a rhetorically informed extension of WRTG 3007, 3020, or 3030, or 3035, or 3040—upper-division writing courses in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (PWR).

This course is designed as an opportunity to delve into the ways in which digital spaces occupy our lives. By examining the rhetorical force at work in digital media – podcasts, eMagazines, blogs, and the like – students will evaluate multimodal narratives, analyzing the relationship between text, image, and story in digital space.

Instead of focusing only on your final work, we will focus on exploring and using the processes of writing, including how to find and develop ideas that might be of interest and value to certain communities (invention strategies, research strategies, and audience analysis); how to explore such ideas in writing, experimenting with a variety of writing features and techniques (drafting); how to adjust or change our drafts based on others’ responses to our texts (revision); and how to present our ideas in the forms that our readers expect and value (documentation, editing and proofreading).

We’ll begin by defining digital literacy: what it means, why it is important, engaging with critical texts to develop a working definition of this burgeoning term. Next, you will be invited to explore your own digital identity and persona(s). For the following writing project, you are invited to produce an analysis of a digital space. Ultimately, you will create a lasting, impactful digital project (WeVideo, podcast, etc.).

By the end of the semester, you should be able to compose multimodal work that conveys your own point of view and that demonstrates thoughtful engagement with complex readings.


  • Explore methods of inquiry and techniques of message production through visual, aural, multimedia, and social media rhetorics
  • Extend rhetorical knowledge by addressing multiple audiences with digital media
  • Develop genre awareness through multimedia assignments
  • Deepen design understanding through awareness of visual rhetorics
  • Explore how different digital media generate different compositional techniques
  • Recognize that each digital medium can perform in multiple genres
  • Develop fluency in digital conventions for different media and multiple audiences

These seven goals express the PWR’s commitment to preparing you to read and write in specific disciplines. By deepening your skills in rhetorical knowledge, writing processes, information literacy, language conventions, and critical thinking, you will be able to write effectively for a variety of audiences in a variety of digital situations.

Required Texts:

No purchased text is required.

Grading (out of 100 points):

  • Digital Identity Project: 15
  • Analysis of a Digital Space: 15
  • Discussion Posts: 25
  • Design Draft and Critiques 20
  • Draft Final Project and Critiques: 25


Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado