Prismatic Reading, Translation, and Editorial Review with Textopian
by Michael Marsh-Soloway
This workshop comprises a collaborative interdisciplinary investigation of an instructional pilot using Textopian, a new browser-based pedagogical tool that compiles open-source learning materials in an intuitive, free-to-the-student interface. The site facilitates collaborative reading, annotation, and bibliographic curation in multiple languages, while deepening understandings of allusions and references in the primary textual medium of assigned books, articles, documents. Promoting accessibility and equity, the tool is compatible across all computer and mobile variants, and provides analytics detailing how students engage course materials, experience presented narratives, and respond emotionally to canonical works. The largely invisible activity of reading, consequently, becomes visible as instructors track how much students read, whether they comprehend assigned materials, and how they relate meaningfully to the opinions of authors and peers. As teachers use Textopian for class activities, they contribute to a growing body of imaginative interpretation, assessment, and analysis shared across diverse curricular contexts. The prismatic compilation of learning materials gives teachers and students newfound agency to explain, contextualize, and relate to the written word in both its original inception and subsequent interpretive receptions by different readers.
About the author
In addition to serving as Co-Founder and Academic Advisor at Textopian, Michael is the Director of the Global Studio at the University of Richmond. Representing the Departments of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) and Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies (LALIS), Michael delivers instructional design consultations and workshops to faculty and students to share innovative uses of technology for pedagogy and research. He teaches Russian at all different levels, oversees the Self-Directed Language Acquisition Program (SDLAP), advises Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs), and collaborates closely with the Offices of International Education, Institutional Effectiveness, and Faculty Technology Committee.