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Latest Xchanges Journal Features Interactive Articles

SOCORRO, N.M. December 7, 2010 – Dr. Julianne Newmark and her student publishing team has released the latest version of Xchanges, an interdisciplinary online journal.

The four articles featured in issue 6.2 of the Xchanges online Journal

  • Erin Clark Frost of Illinois State University submitted a multimedia presentation titled, “Visual Culture and the ‘Alice’ Books.” Frost is a graduate assistant, pursuing a Ph.D. with specializations in rhetoric and composition, technical communication and women's and gender studies.
  • Jennifer Bracken Scott is the author of “Teaching Technical Communication with Wikis.” She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Professional Communication at New Mexico State University. She earned her bachelor’s in Technical Communication from New Mexico Tech. Her interests include technical communication pedagogy and classroom applications for multimedia. She presented earlier versions of the current article at the 2009 Southwest Texas Popular Culture Association conference and the 2009 Computers and Writing conference.
  • Josephine Walwema wrote “Novelty or Replication: A Pedagogical Foray into the Technical Communication Class.” Walwema received her master’s in Rhetoric and Writing from the University of New Mexico. She is now a doctoral candidate in the Rhetorics, Communication and Information Design Program at Clemson University.  Her research interests include the history of rhetoric, rhetorical theory, technology as human capacity, and mechanical technology.

Xchanges is a blind-reviewed ejournal that highlights technical communication, writing/rhetoric, and writing across curriculum scholarship from graduate and undergraduate students representing institutions across the United States.

Newmark and students from the Technical Communication program at New Mexico Tech have also completely redesigned the website. The winter issue each year, published in November, features scholarly articles, websites and online presentations from graduate students in writing-related disciplines. This edition’s theme was incorporating technology into academic settings and the dissemination of information, both within the university setting and outside.

Newmark said she received article-length scholarly submissions from Ph.D. students from a wide array of institutions across the country. The faculty review board, comprised of professors from across the United States, reviews these submissions on a blind basis.

“This is a very strong issue,” Newmark said. “This is the first time that half of the published text is multi-media – and that’s our goal.”

One published piece is a Prezi presentation that includes audio and visual components. Another accepted publication is a website. The other two submissions are traditional articles.

Students in New Mexico Tech’s Technical Communication 371 course, “Publications Management,” designed and implemented the new website.

One article dovetailed perfectly with the aim of Newmark’s TC 371 class. An article by Josephine Walwema, of Clemson University, focused on adapting templates within a technical communications curriculum.

“My class was modifying the Joomla! device to make it suit what we needed,” Newmark said of the Joomla! website content management system. “She was writing about a subject closely related to what the class was doing. All the pieces fit together very well for an entire issue.”

Nancy Fox, a doctoral student at the University of Washington in Seattle, wrote an article that is especially appropriate for an online journal because she incorporates links to student-created movies, Newmark said.

“Each of the pieces is very much in keeping with the journal’s ethos,” Newmark said.

Students in the TC 371 class had one large project – redesign the website and publish the latest issue of the journal. Of course, along with those two main tasks, the students had plenty of other smaller assignments and goals to accomplish.

“They worked on this as a client project,” Newmark said. “They had to work on continuity from previous issues, work on style sheets and learn the Joomla! dashboard – and get it approved by me. They managed the entire transition from the old website to the new one. They also had to set it up so the administrator – me – can use it easily for issues in the future.”

The web design team was Thom Noblitt-Gonzales, James Faltt and Eddie Acree. Jacoby Boles and Heather Mattax-McNeil were the editorial team. Tony Gudmundson served as the one-person promotion and correspondence team.

“It was a huge job and it’ll be a huge improvement,” Newmark said.

The next issue will be published during the spring semester and will feature undergraduate work.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech