Pedagogical Values

Teaching and tutoring inspired me to become a part of this field, and I am deeply committed to finding innovative ways to facilitate my students' learning. Over time I have come to see the classroom as a space that is ripe with possibilities for encouraging new ways of thinking, exploring ways of making meaning, and fostering students’ skills and abilities. With this in mind, my pedagogy is built on two main concepts: 1) composition and communication are always multimodal, which renders the semiotic choices composers make when designing texts increasingly important; 2) learning and making meaning are socially-constructed activities that can be best accomplished collaboratively. As a teacher I design my courses, projects, and daily classroom activities to reinforce these ideas so I can engage my students in a supportive, collaborative environment in mind and support my students’ growth as composers and learners. 

Below you will find a glimpse into the perspectives of my students, information about every course I have taught, access to class websites, and full course evaluation information. You may also access a simple list of the courses I taught by clicking here for my CV. You can also click here for my full Teaching Philosophy.

Student Perspectives

Not reflected in the numerical feedback breakdowns seen below is the profound effect my students report my pedagogy had on them. The written feedback in the slideshow to the right comes from first-year and graduating students from across disciplines.

These excerpts highlight student voices expressing their perspectives on my pedagogy, courses, and interactions with them inside and outside the classroom.



Peer Tutoring Written Feedback
Peer Tutoring Written Feedback



The slideshow to the above can also be viewed as individual images by clicking on them, so you can read at your own pace. Because it would be otherwise impossible to include all of my student feedback in this manner, you can also access a catalog of selected written feedback from all the courses I have taught—including the scrolling feedback above—and check full course evaluations below.

Teaching Experience & Materials

ENGL 390
The Rhetoric of Computer Games
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ENGL 387
Technical Report Writing

This course evolved from the ENC 1145 course seen below, but revised as an upper-level English elective course. In this course, students complete projects designed to develop an understanding of rhetoric as a concept, how rhetoric functions in games, and to create a game that demonstrates that knowledge. I see the design of this course as emblematic of my pedagogy—moving from defining key concepts on an individual level, to analyzing those concepts in a text of the student’s choosing, and finally asking students to engage with concepts by creating texts that demonstrate what they’ve learned. I am excited by the progress I made developing this course over the past 2 years, and about the possibility of adding it to the official course offerings at my next institution—I am especially excited by the possibilities for developing a Game Studies minor or working a course like this into a digital studies program.

​At my current institution, this course is used to fulfil the Writing Intensive Upper Level Major Course requirement for several majors and disciplines, including Accounting, Biochemistry & Biotechnology, Business Administration, Business Analytics, Computer Information Technology, Computer Science, Finance, Graphic Communications, Graphic Design, Operations Management, Physics, Physics Education, Project Management and many more. Given the incredibly broad scope of this specific course and the programs it serves, I designed this course as a way to present technical writing as context-sensitive and genre-focused. Designing and teaching this course gave me the opportunity to see how technical writing instruction can function in both as its own unique discipline, but also, as a far-reaching service course. I am excited to continue this work at my next institution, and adapt my technical writing expertise to new contexts.

ENGL 357 
New Media & the CA/L Classroom
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As a course designed to teach K-12 teachers about how to effectively utilize new media in their pedagogy, this course allowed me to both do something completely new—preparing future K-12 teachers—and capitalize on my strengths with digital pedagogy and new media. As a completely new course, I was given complete freedom in how to design and teach it, so long as it addressed state and local standards for teaching with technology. This course opens with introducing students to the vast array of terms used to define the work done in this area—new media, multimodality, new literacies, etc.—and asked them to identify with one of those terms, or define their own that builds on their pedagogy and perspective. From there, students gained hands-on experience with creating digital texts, followed by creating a digitally-focused project and assessment model, then designing a course unit focused on integrating digital technologies into the classroom, and finally, creating a digital new media teaching philosophy. I see this course as easily scalable to any digital pedagogy course at undergraduate and graduate levels.

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ENGL 101
English Composition

For this course, I built on my previous experience with teaching ENGL 2135 at Florida State University, and adapted it to my new context at Minnesota State University at Moorhead. The course begins with a lower-stakes personally-driven writing assignment, moves into a traditional research project on a topic of their choosing, and the course concludes by asking students to present the research they did in 3 different texts, designed in 3 different genres, and targeting 3 different audiences. In my first year composition courses I try to emphasize access and accessibility, so while I introduce students to concepts like design, digital composing, and ask them to create multimodal texts, all of these tasks are done in very user-friendly ways with completely free tools. Most of the courses I teach work best in classrooms that provide computer access, but the lack of computer classrooms at MSUM gave me the opportunity to focus on making my first year writing pedagogy even more accessible. I’m excited to continue adapting my first year writing pedagogy to any new context that awaits me.

ENG 3931
Tutoring in the Reading
and Writing Center
Jason Custer ENG 3931

In this course, students are prepared to become peer tutors in the Florida State University Reading and Writing Center (RWC). The course begins in the first unit by providing writing theory and asking students to develop their own theory of writing. From there, students select a specialty area in tutoring scholarship to develop an annotated bibliography for as they begin co-tutoring with a mentor in the RWC. In the final unit, students begin tutoring on their own and conduct original research projects that build on their specialties to show what the FSU RWC can learn from their research, interests, and experiences as a tutor.


Jason Custer ENG 3416
ENC 3416
Writing and Editing In
Print and Online

Students in ENC 3416 are introduced to composing and editing across environments. The course and projects are structured to discuss rhetoric and composition theories in the context of print, reframe those theories through the lens of Bolter and Grusin's concept of remediation and Lawrence Lessig's discussion of remix, and then synthesize these concepts by designing a network of texts focused on rhetorical action. These projects are complemented with a semester-long blogging assignment that encouraged students to start writing about their professional interests, and bring all of these elements together in a professional portfolio. 


ENC 2135
Genre, Research, and Context
Jason Custer ENG 2135

This course fulfills the newly established second-year composition requirement now in place at FSU. This course begins by asking students to write a personal narrative that focuses on genre awareness and conforming to the genre of the personal narrative. From there, students create an extensive academic research essay on a topic of their choice, and in the final project, disseminate this research into three separate texts designed to make the most of the medium, modes, genre, and audiences that make the most sense for each text and their topics. I teach this course as an introduction to developing an understanding of genre as a concept through genre theory, and learning by creating texts across media, modes, and genres for academic and rhetorically-selected audiences. This course encourages transfer of past writing skills and experiences while pushing students to think about how rhetoric shapes the composing they do across contexts and media.

Jason Custer ENC 1145
ENC 1145
Writing About the Rhetoric of Videogames

This special topic course fulfills the requirements for FSU's previous second-semester FYC requirement and includes integrating a research-driven unit. I designed this course from the ground-up to be an embodiment of what I call videogame-infused pedagogy. In this course, students learn the fundamental elements of college composition and composing across environments through a series of projects that ease students from traditional alphabetic composing, to designing their own games. This course focuses on reinforcing connections between the multimodal composition and literacies at work in playing and designing games, and the Habits of Mind established in the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. My research and work in designing and implementing this course have resulted in multiple conference presentations and publications, as seen on my research page.


Jason Custer ENC 1102
ENC 1102
First-Year Composition and Research

More recently supplanted by FSU's ENC 2135 course, ENC 1102 is a second-semester first-year composition complement to ENC 1101. This course is primarily focused on instilling strong research skills and practices in students by building on the foundation in composition and rhetoric established in ENC 1101. Like its preceding course, ENC 1102 meshes together in-class peer review with instructor conferences to provide an ongoing collaborative learning experience about what good research is, how it is performed, and why it matters. Like my other courses, this course encourages students to foster digital and networked composing skills, especially seen in projects my custom-designed project, (Getting To) Know Your Media, students close the course with that tasks them with performing research and presenting their findings in the form of YouTube videos.


ENC 1101
Introduction to First-Year Composition
Jason Custer ENC 1101

This course is an introductory semester-long course that offers students the opportunity to begin engaging with critical concepts in rhetoric and composition, such as audience, genre, rhetorical appeals, rhetorical situation, remediation, and multimodality. Students regularly have individual conferences with me, and in-class peer workshops as well. My approach to teaching this course leans heavily on utilizing digital and networked platforms like Google Drive to allow students to collaborate in real-time, provide feedback, and work on in-class assignments designed to reinforce the concepts that underpin the projects completed throughout the semester.