Research Agenda

As a researcher I am committed to three main areas of scholarship: 1) digital multimodal composition, and how it can be successfully integrated into writing classrooms; 2) tutor and consultant educational practices, especially as they involve digital multimodal composition; and 3) program assessment, especially in the context of academic support structures. My identity as a scholar hinges on successfully implementing, supporting, and assessing digital multimodal composition pedagogy, and I am actively extending my research into presentations, articles, and a planned book project.

A summary of my current, past, and ongoing research with multimodal composition, writing center studies, and computer games can be found below, including my ongoing and current research projects. A list of all of my publications and scholarly contributions can be found by looking at my CV and you can learn more about my goals as a researcher in my full Research Agenda.

Latest Research & Publications

As noted above, the main areas of scholarship I engage with are digital composition, game studies, writing center studies, and program assessment. Given how wide that range is, I see my scholarly identity as intertwined with my pedagogy and service opportunities—as such, I strive to ensure I keep up with and contribute to the conversations I draw from the most frequently. Given my current position's focus on multimodal composition and my lengthy history with game studies and writing center studies, my most recent work focuses on the intersections between these topics.

My scholarly and teaching identities shaped publications I completed that focus on sharing my pedagogical expertise with my peers, including an article on how to integrate a game jam into a classroom setting, how to teach students about what procedural rhetoric is and how it functions, and how to help students learn the conventions of writing for web-based contexts (forthcoming from the The Global Society of Online Literacy Educators).

The new research I started as a faculty member led to my forthcoming article—"The Binding of Process: Bringing Composition, Writing Centers, and Games Together"—which highlights the intersections of the main areas of scholarship with which I most closely identify. I began this project by researching the history of the process movement in composition studies—which I traced back to the 1890s—and sought connections across the modern landscape of composition studies. Given my expertise with writing center pedagogy and procedural rhetoric, I identified process as a key concept connecting computing and composition. I am confident that this project will yield further publication opportunities and expansion, as the bulk of the research I did into the process movement and the connections I made to computing environments was simply outside the scope of the article I wrote.

While I plan to continue building on and participating in these conversations in the future, I am also excited to see what areas of expertise my next local context encourages me to become familiar with, and working toward continuing to be the scholar I want to be, and the colleague my campus and department need me to be. 

Ongoing Research

My current research focuses on studying how tutors and consultants in a range of different types of centers are being prepared to assist with multimodal compositions. I started this research as I worked with my colleagues in the Florida State University Digital Studio on our digital text published in the edited collection Sustainable Learning Spaces, "A Space Defined: Four Years in the Life of the FSU Digital Studios." As we decided on the sections of content to include, "training" quickly emerged as an important facet of developing spaces like our Digital Studio, but as we discussed it among ourselves and through our interviews, I found that it raised more questions than it answered. As I took on administrative roles in the FSU Digital Studio, I saw

Jason Custer Digital Studio

firsthand the importance and struggle of preparing tutors to assist with multimodal compositions.

My dissertation, More Modes, More Problems: Examining the Preparation and Ongoing Support for Writing Center Tutors Working with Students on Digital Multimodal Composition, represents my first steps toward understanding the current landscape of tutor education for assisting with digital multimodal compositions by synthesizing a nationwide survey and a tripartite case study to develop a descriptive overview of the current landscape for preparing tutors to assist with digital multimodal compositions. As multimodal writing center studies emerge as a budding area of scholarship, this project illuminates the otherwise murky state of tutor education for digital multimodal composition assistance through its survey component. Using this data as a point of departure, three centers that specialize in assisting with digital multimodal texts serve as case studies for the best available practices for preparing tutors for the new demands placed on them by multimodal compositions and digital composing. With the macro- and micro- perspectives generated from nationwide survey data and the interviews conducted with administrators and tutors at three case study locations, I am working to develop a framework to guide how tutor education for assisting with digital multimodal compositions is conducted.

You can examine more information from my dissertation research on this subsite from CCCC 2017, which includes graphs, data, and more from my presentation in Portland, Oregon.

Early Research

The bulk of my early research as a scholar grew out of my interest in digital rhetoric, gaming, and my introduction to Ian Bogost's Persuasive Games. I found myself immediately intrigued by Bogost's notion of procedural rhetoric and began to see the potential for videogames as a pedagogical asset in rhetoric and composition studies. This was cemented when I encountered Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, which immediately spoke to my lifetime of playing games and everything I knew I had learned from them, but without the concepts I needed to articulate it.

My thesis research focused on developing the framework I call videogame-infused pedagogy, which synthesizes composition theory, digital rhetoric, and game theory by mapping them onto composition pedagogy with the intention of making teaching with games accessible for a wide range of instructors. Along with this research, I developed a website dedicated to my work with gaming as well, sharing the same name. Videogame-infused pedagogy was designed, embodied, and enacted by my course Writing About the Rhetoric of Videogames, which I taught and refined over three semesters and five sections. 

Jason Custer Research

My work with videogame-infused pedagogy has been featured at several national conferences, as seen below, and has led to refereed publications in edited collections, such as my article, "The Three Ds of Procedural Literacy: Developing, Demonstrating, and Documenting Layered Literacies with Valve’s Steam for Schools," which appears in deWinter and Moeller's Computer Games and Technical Communication Critical Methods and Applications at the Intersection, contributions to podcasts like Kyle Stedman's Plugs, Play, and Pedagogy, and multiple written contributions to the Sweetland Digital Rhetoric Collaborative focused on pedagogical possibilities for games, and how games present racialized pedagogical spaces in their mechanics

Conference Participation

Surrounding this text you'll find images of handouts and presentations given at past gatherings for the Southwestern Popular/American Culture Association, the Conference on College Communication and Composition, and Computers and Writing. Each of these presentations converges with my research and publications, allowing me to share my work with a broad audience across the field.

 

I created these texts with a combination of programs I am proficient in, including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Docs, and Pixlr Editor.

 

If you click on any of these images you will be brought directly to the corresponding handout or slides to allow you to examine my presentations with more depth.

CCCC 2013

CCCC 2013

Computers and Writing 2013

Computers and Writing 2013

CCCC 2014

CCCC 2014

CCCC 2015

CCCC 2015

Computers and Writing 2015

Computers and Writing 2015

CCCC 2016

CCCC 2016

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