As a professor of English at Kennesaw State University, I teach a variety of rhetoric/composition and professional writing courses, from undergraduate courses in digital rhetoric to graduate courses in composition theory and pedagogy. I've also developed and taught Master of Arts in Professional Writing courses on social media and teaching with technology. Along with eighteen years of on-ground teaching experience, I have fifteen years of online teaching experience, and I enjoy designing accessible, engaging fully online and hybrid courses.
My scholarship focuses on digital rhetoric, writing, and culture, online learning, and faculty development. I've presented and published on these topics in a variety of venues, including my open-access edited collection: Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies (Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2011).
Collaborative Approaches to the Digital in English Studies presents diverse examples of how researchers and teachers in English studies are working together and with other disciplines and stakeholders to examine digital tools, texts, and user practices, locally and globally, within and beyond the academy. These examples reveal practitioners using collaborative approaches to pool expertise and resources, challenge boundaries, develop nuanced perspectives, experiment and discover, and shape the future of the profession, accomplishing through these interactions what could not be achieved as productively alone.
My current research examines rhetorics of women's empowerment in development, cause marketing, and STEM discourses; I'm specifically interested in tracing how these rhetorics circulate through websites, social media, and multimedia. I'm also actively studying approaches to preparing faculty for online writing instruction.
I've served my department, college, university, and the profession in numerous ways, including acting as Reviews co-editor of Kairos from 2006-2009 and as an editorial board member of Connexions: International Professional Communication Journal since 2013. My service and scholarship align in the areas of technology-related professional development and online teaching.
Faculty Professional Development
While serving as English department technology coordinator and as assistant director of my college's Office of Distance Education, I delivered numerous workshops and created online modules and documentation for faculty. I continue to work with colleagues from across the university and within my field to support and sustain work with digital media, including technology-enhanced teaching.
- McGrath, Laura, and Letizia Guglielmo. "Communities of Practice and Makerspaces: DMAC's Influence on Technological Professional Development and Teaching Multimodal Composing." Computers and Composition 36 (2015): 44-53.
- McGrath, Laura, and Letizia Guglielmo. "Supporting Faculty in Teaching the New Work of Composing: Colleague-Guided Faculty Development within an English Department." The Writing Instructor. 2014.
- McGrath, Laura. "Teaching New Media, Negotiating Access." Chapter in Reading and Writing New Media. Ed. Cheryl Ball and Jim Kalmbach. Hampton Press, 2010. 257-273.
As a member of the panel of online writing instruction (OWI) experts and stakeholders, I support the important work of the CCCC Committee on Best Practices for Online Writing Instruction. Since joining the faculty in 2004, I've held the following service and leadership roles realted to online teaching:
- Founder and chair of the English department's Committee on Online Learning
- Assistant Director of Distance Education for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Chair of the Faculty Senate Distance Learning Advisory Committee
- Online course quality reviewer (use Quality Matters rubric to evaluate KSU courses)
- McGrath, Laura. "In Their Own Voices: Online Writing Instructors Speak Out on Issues of Preparation, Development, & Support." Computers and Composition Online (Spring 2008).
- McGrath, Laura. "Developing eLearning Policies at the Department Level." Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 2.3 (2006).
Prior Learning Assessment
Since spring 2016, I've served as University Prior Learning Assessment Coordinator for Kennesaw State.