English, Department of


First Advisor

Deborah Minter

Second Advisor

Rachael Shah

Third Advisor

Robert Brooke

Date of this Version

Spring 4-2022

Document Type



Shumaker Page, Danielle. “Dewey in the Digital Age: Experiential Composition and Reflection as Transformation ” University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2022.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professor Debbie Minter. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Danielle Shumaker Page


This thesis explores the act of composing as a transformational, ongoing event and offers digital reflection as a tool for first-year writing students to evaluate their own writing practices. I analyze student vlogs produced in response to an assignment that asked students to produce digital reflections on their work as writers across the process of completing a final course project. My findings suggest that adapting experiential learning principles, digital and non-digital, into composition classroom design creates and facilitates writing experiences that are immersive and transformational. Crucial to designing learning occasions is the process of active reflection upon what the writer experiences, a quality that is explored in some depth in this thesis. I outline the habits of mind to cultivate within the writing classroom through the practice of reflection-in-action, and I propose that digital reflection allows writers to fully immerse themselves in the experience of multimodal composition, enacting the senses and engaging the whole person.

Advisor: Debbie Minter