Commonplaces Guide

Critel outlines four commonplaces—themes, practices, and concepts—that recur in her study of participation within and without the composition classroom: community, assessment, embodiment, and technology.

Below we present a brief gloss of each commonplace based on Critel's findings and then list the chapters associated with that commonplace in The Rhetoric of Participation (an extended description and analysis of Critel's commonplaces can be found in the introduction).

Community refers to prevailing instructor conceptions of the classroom as a community of learners and writers. As a commonplace of participation, community can be viewed as a foundation to facilitating participation, a consequence of promoting participation in the classroom, and/or a goal of participation requirements. The following chapters explore and complicate such notions of community:
"A Curation of Student Voices on Participation in the Writing Classroom"
Lauren Obermark
"Roles and Relationships: Possibilities for Student Participation in Writing Program Administration"
Kathryn Comer
"Participatory Hospitality and Writing Centers"
Michele Eodice
Assessment refers to how participation is measured and/or graded in the classroom. The commonplace of assessment involves elements of syllabus design and language, instructor attitudes, and student performance in oral and written work (e.g., grading in-class discussions). The following chapters explore and complicate such notions of assessment.
"Mapping Student Participation in the College-Level Writing Classroom"
Genevieve Critel
"Goldiloxxing Intellectual Participation: Getting it 'Just Right'"
Kelly Bradbury and Paul Muhlhauser
"Participation and the Problem of Measurement"
Ryan Omizo
Embodiment refers to the ways in which student and instructor bodies are coded in the classroom and the ways these bodies are asked, constrained, and sometimes excluded because of normative framings of participation. One key form of embodiment identified by Critel is student voice and the expectation that students are obliged to contribute orally in classroom discussions as a mark of participation. The following chapters explore and complicate these notions of embodiment:
"Queering Student Participation: Whispers, Echoes, Rants, and Memory"
Matthew Cox
"International Student Participation in a Mainstream Composition Course: Opportunities and Challenges"
Tony Cimasko and Dong-shin Shin
"Involving and Evolving: Student Feedback and Flexibility in Classroom Participation"
Elizabeth Brewer
Technology refers to the ways in which the computer technologies and communication platforms, such as learning management systems, used by students and instructors condition participation in the classroom. For Critel, technology can aid student participation, expanding opportunities and modalities for student contribution, which can help balance inequities that may arise. The following chapters explore and complicate these notions of technology:
"Participation as Reflective Practice: Digital Composing and Feminist Pedagogy"
Jason Palmeri and Abby Dubisar
"The Success of This Course Depends on Your Participation: Technology, Topoi, and Infrastructure in the Era of MOOCs"
Michael Harker, Mary Hocks, and Matthew Sansbury
"'Don't Tase me Bro': Emergent Participatory Economies Across Web Spaces"
Lynn C. Lewis