ENGL 1103: Digital Literacy Mode

" Omit needless words. "
DrIf you've never met a prof. you might wonder what we do. We do research, write grant applications, write articles and books, review colleagues' work, give public presentations, participate in university governance, and teach (distill hundreds of books and articles into syllabi, create quizzes and tests, assign papers, offer feedback, grade, write letters of recommendation, design new classes). Most of the profs. you will meet care deeply about teaching. They just wish they had more time for it. Remember there's a difference between learning and being entertained. Remember also that you don't have to like someone to learn from them.. George Pullman
2424, 25 Park Place
404-413-5458I never use the phone, so don't call me. When you do call someone, have a voice message prepared in advance. No more than 10 seconds. Speak slowly. Just say who you are, what you want, how to reach you. Repeat your number at the end, s-l-o-w-l-y. If you need more than 10 seconds, use email or face-to-face.

Office hours

I am nearly always available via emailWhen emailing a prof, the salutation is Professor Lastname. Use the class number and time in the subject line: ENGL 1103 TTH 9:30. That way you don't have to introduce or explain yourself. Don't use txt spk. Use complete sentences and standard punctuation. Don't ask questions Google answers. Don't ask, "What did I miss?" (unless you want to antagonize him or her). Sign off with Thank you, and your name. Don't expect an immediate response. Many profs. answer email only during a set time, say between 4 and 5 pm. I'm pretty compulsively responsive to email but tend to maintain radio silence between 10 pm and 5 am.. If you want to speak face-to-faceDon't be anonymous. Go to your professors' offices hours at least once; early on is best. (Think of a smart question first: why did you get interested in SUBJECT HERE? What do SUBJECT majors do when they graduate? Most people, not just profs., like to talk about themselves, especially indirectly). Generally speaking, if you behave as though you take your learning seriously, a prof. will take you seriously. Otherwise, you are just a face in a sea of ever-changing faces., I will be early for class and frequently available after class.


This is not a traditional First Year Composition class (FYC). First Year Composition was an idea born in the late 19th century designed to help ill-prepared high-school graduates write college-ready prose. Well-prepared students have traditionally tested out of FYC, although a well designed, well run FYC class can develop anyone's writing skills. The truth is, however, good writing is like good health. It's not enough to know what you are supposed to do; you have to do it every day. You have to develop a habit of mindful thinkingDefined as: asking interesting questions and questioning possible answers while remaining aware of cognitive and social biases. and the best way to think is in writing. If you write it down, you can look at it later, think about it again, and refine and expand your original thoughts.

In the 21st century, nearly all writing takes place online. Many communications are never meant for print. Prose designed for online presentation differs substantially from printed prose and this class is about those differences. In this class you will learn to write onlinecraft screen-ready prose; create effective user interfaces. I'm going to help you become a better writer by teaching you how to design your own personal web presence from the domain name (your-online-self.com) up.


If you think this class is for you, please fill out the survey. There are no right or wrong answers. The survey has NO effect on your grade.




  1. Interview 3 or 4 older students - "What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started at GSU?"
    Carry a clip board or a pad of paper and a pencil or pen (so they know what's up). Say you have an Freshman comp assignment; ask, "What is something you know now you wish you knew when you started?" After you write down their answer, ask them what year they are in and what their major is. Write that information down too. That's it, but of course you can keep talking if you want to. Ask a few different kinds of people. Pick someone you wouldn't naturally be inclined to talk to. Pick someone you really like the look of too. And a couple of people who just happen to be nearby. To get three or four quotes worth sharing, you might need to talk with a few people. The more people you meet, the better. Bring your quotes to class Thursday August 27. We are going to use them to make a shared digital asset and to talk about the differences between the paper and the digital world.
    objective -- forget what you were told about not talking to strangers
    objective -- get some good advice from someone who has been where you are now
    objective -- collaborative project using lists and images Buzz Feed eg
  2. Landing screen (index.html)
    objective -- image compression, creative commons, directory paths
  3. Autobiography (about1.html): who are you, where are you coming from, where are you headed? Include a headshot and a motto
    objective -- representation of self
  4. Hypertextual autobiography (about2.html): create a two dimensional variation of your autobiography that uses on hover effects to suppliament your text with images, maps, links to wiki-pedia articles, whatever additional material you can think of to help people understand who you are and where you are coming from.
    objective -- learn the basics of two dimensional arrangement
    • (Extra credit option), create a 1 minute video self-introduction:
      "The 'One Button Studio' (LN #276) is a simplified video recording setup that can be used without any previous video production experience. The design of the studio allows you to create high-quality and polished video projects without having to know anything about lights and cameras. You only need to bring your flash drive with you and push a single button."
  5. The style machine (DIY)
    objective -- clarity and brevity
    before and after examples -- demonstrate your editorial skills
  6. Launch pad
  7. Personas: Taxonomy of terrible programmers
    objective: audience awareness level one, anticipation through imagination
    level two is data analytics, level three is ethnographic research. We won't get that far


All assignments are of equal value even though some are much more time-intensive than others. You will be evaluated out of 10 on each, with the remaining 20% of the final grade being determined by peer review of your final result. There will be a form each person fills out anonymously for every student's site. Pullman reserves the right to override what he considers inaccurate assessments. Dr. Pullman is solely responsible for your final grade.

Criteria for evaluation for all assignments are the same. In order of importance they are: usability (works), accessibility (for everyone), aesthetic appeal (pleasing), cohesion (fits in with the rest of what's there).


According to the GSU student handbook

Your professor expects you to:


This syllabus represents only a plan. Deviations may be necessary.