Collecting and Curating

Diagram of collecting and curating. Options for doing: Elements of design; modes; access. Understand how genre influences the ways texts are collected and engaged with. Engage with texts beyond "reading for information." Reocgnize environs as "texts" that can be interpreted. See searching as strategic exploration; information creation as a process. Options for doing: Manipulate photos and images; manage assets; caption. Data collection (including field notes); selecting. Assemblage; organization.


In this move, students are asked to gather (collect) material from a site, an environment, or their lives and represent it (curate) through writing/creation. Students not only produce whatever material they can find; they carefully select what information needs to be presented to achieve the assignment’s goals and also to think critically about the way the material will be presented. Assignments emphasizing collecting and curating ask students to focus on objects, experiences, and ideas from their surroundings, environment, and/or experiences, and to visibilize them through the process of collection and curation. We might think of the ways museums and galleries curate work and artifacts, for example (and the ethics of curating existing work).

Collecting and Curating Learning Objectives

A table containing the required and recommended learning objectives for collecting and curation

Link to PDF of Collecting and Curating Learning Objectives

Information Literacy Threshold Concepts

  • Information creation as a process
  • Searching as strategic exploration

Habits of Mind

  • Curiosity
  • Engagement
  • Creativity


Genre Writing goals Collect Curate
Collage Recognizing environs as “texts” Photos from a particular location Assemble photos into a meaningful organization
Soundscapes assignment Searching as strategic exploration Sound assets from an environment Describe and analyze what the sounds mean in a PowerPoint
Literacy narrative Understand how genre influences the ways texts (memories) are collected or engaged with Memories of literacy learning Present in narrative form
Discourse community map Engage with texts (interviews) beyond reading for information Interviews with professionals in a discipline A map describing the features of the discourse community


Scholarly Bibliography

Matalene, Carolyn. “Experience as Evidence: Teaching Students to Write Honestly and Knowledgeably about Public Issues.” Rhetoric Review, vol. 10, no. 2, 1992, pp. 252–265.

Mihailidis, Paul, and Cohen, James N. “Exploring Curation as a Core Competency in Digital and Media Literacy Education.” Journal of Interactive Media in Education, vol. 13, no. 1, 2013.

Sunstein, Bonnie S., and Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater. Fieldworking: Reading and Writing Research. 4th ed., Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012.

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