Special issue


Between 2020-22 COVID-19 blurred the line between academic and digital writing as more students and educators used digital platforms to write, share, and collaborate on academic work. Today, students can video-conference, engage in digital annotating, communicate via chats with different audiences, and write more audience-oriented emails - some of the skills they transferred from their daily interactions prompted by the pandemic. To help the students enhance their digital writing skills needed to succeed in the post-pandemic world, the researcher of this study decided to introduce and implement infographics in her first-year composition. During the pandemic, this genre became one of the popular mediums for transmitting and sharing information, with public health organisations worldwide relying on them to illustrate the scale of the crisis and the actions needed to combat it. This exploratory study collected data from 13 students in a blended college-level writing course by employing qualitative research methods such as surveys and reflections to learn about students' perspectives on possible affordances and constraints of infographics and to discover a more robust understanding of infographics as a potential tool for digital writing transfer. A thematic analysis was used to code students' responses. The literature review and the findings of this study suggest that infographics can be used as a tool to improve intellectual skills (e.g., audience awareness, information filtering, concision) and life skills (e.g., self-efficacy), which are both needed for more effective digital writing skills required for success in the post-pandemic world.

Practitioner Notes

  1. COVID-19 has blurred the line between academic and digital writing; thus, implementing practices that can enhance students' digital writing skills becomes necessary.
  2. With the transition to online learning, students are now utilising digital mediums for interacting and engaging with their peers and teachers, which has forced them to develop audience awareness, information filtering, and concision skills.
  3. Due to increased popularity during the pandemic, infographics can help students advance their intellectual skills (e.g., audience awareness, information filtering, and concision) and life skills (e.g., self-efficacy), all needed to enhance digital writing skills.
  4. By teaching students how to read, interpret, and create infographics, instructors across various disciplines can promote digital writing transfer from their classrooms to the job market.