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Learning management systems (LMSs) are a common software many higher education institutions rely on to facilitate online, hybrid, and web-enhanced courses. However, while our students use the LMS for online learning, less often do they study the LMS as a cultural artifact that shapes how learning happens. This assignment prepares first-year writing students to disrupt the perceived neutrality of LMSs. Students study the LMS and grapple with issues related to technology, power dynamics, audience, and purpose that are foundational to their reading and writing of other texts. Before engaging in this project, students practice conducting rhetorical analysis and inquiry research that prepare them for the kinds of thinking and questioning required for the final LMS project. The final project for the course is a three-part LMS project that culminates in a digital presentation.
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