Title

Adapting to Meet New Literacies: Teaching Composition in an Online Environment

Presenter Information

Charles Gornik

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 137A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Traditionally, English instructors see writing as happening in a specific, physical place and thus have avoided the use technology, especially online mediums, as a means of teaching composition. The reluctance to move to an online space has caused researcher Jeff Rice to claim that English is “falling behind” the rest of the academic world in meeting the needs of students as early as 2006 (Rice 128). Few authors make an explicit case against teaching composition online. Rather, most of the field of composition is concerned with figuring out “how” to move writing online and “why” it is worthwhile. This paper, which is part of a larger work on building a successful online composition course, argues that, due to advantages unique to networking and computer software, online composition courses are as viable an option as traditional “in-class’ composition courses. As such, composition should be taught in an online space. By the time that students are of the age where they can learn writing skills, they are already familiar with working online, whether for social media, entertainment, or school. As a result, online composition courses can make use of mediums that can engage students in ways that traditional courses cannot. Additionally, this article bases its argument in the same composition and educational theories of the “contact zone,” cognition, and writing process on which traditional composition is based.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Patsy Callaghan

Additional Mentoring Department

English

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May 17th, 1:10 PM May 17th, 1:30 PM

Adapting to Meet New Literacies: Teaching Composition in an Online Environment

SURC 137A

Traditionally, English instructors see writing as happening in a specific, physical place and thus have avoided the use technology, especially online mediums, as a means of teaching composition. The reluctance to move to an online space has caused researcher Jeff Rice to claim that English is “falling behind” the rest of the academic world in meeting the needs of students as early as 2006 (Rice 128). Few authors make an explicit case against teaching composition online. Rather, most of the field of composition is concerned with figuring out “how” to move writing online and “why” it is worthwhile. This paper, which is part of a larger work on building a successful online composition course, argues that, due to advantages unique to networking and computer software, online composition courses are as viable an option as traditional “in-class’ composition courses. As such, composition should be taught in an online space. By the time that students are of the age where they can learn writing skills, they are already familiar with working online, whether for social media, entertainment, or school. As a result, online composition courses can make use of mediums that can engage students in ways that traditional courses cannot. Additionally, this article bases its argument in the same composition and educational theories of the “contact zone,” cognition, and writing process on which traditional composition is based.