This post was written by NCTE member Scott Warnock & student Diana Gasiewski.
As an increasing number of college writing instructors teach online, the interest in practical guidance about how to instruct these courses, as well as what students’ experiences are like, has grown. The questions are numerous:
- What sorts of assignments are effective?
- How does online work equate to onsite work?
- Where do students do their work?
- How do students establish a sense of course community online, if in fact they do so?
In an effort to address these and many other questions, we are excited to announce that our NCTE book Writing Together: Ten Weeks Teaching and Studenting in an Online Writing Course will be available at the CCCC Annual Convention in Kansas City, March 14–17.
The book is an unusual educational narrative of a teacher and student’s experience in a first-year online writing course (OWC). It’s written somewhat as a “call and response”: Scott, an experienced online writing instructor and faculty mentor and author of Teaching Writing Online: How and Why, describes in great detail how he approached and taught the course that term; Diana, an education major and English minor, describes her experience as a student—we draw from Mary Louise Pratt in calling Diana’s experience “studenting.”
Together we describe the week-by-week experience of teaching and taking an OWC, including detailed teaching strategies, examples of student-written dialogue, and actual assignment and organizational documents from the course.
We would like this book to help refine and enhance not just how we see OWCs and teach them, but also how we see our students as collaborators in knowledge-making about our field.
We hope that our narrative approach to composition scholarship is informative as well as engaging, and that it helps open up new channels of inquiry about the student experience in online writing instruction. As we note in the book’s introduction, citing many other voices in composition, student voices can so often be left out of conversations about teaching, and of course this issue is not limited to comp/rhet: It is widespread throughout education.
Our book aims to be a story of teaching and studenting, of how writers came together in a virtual educational community to work and learn together. We hope you enjoy it.
Scott Warnock is associate professor of English and director of the University Writing Program at Drexel University. Diana Gasiewski is a recent graduate of Drexel University with a degree in education.