Monday, June 29, 2009

Online Writing Across the Curriculum

Here's an interesting writing project from the University of Arizona. They are developing a one-credit online writing course that will be used to supplement three-credit general education classes across the campus. Sort of an online version of writing across the curriculum. This online approach also addresses a growing problem at many colleges and universities. While enrollments have spiked, existing staff and facilities (consider a college writing center) have remained static and are thus unable to meet the increased demand.

UA adds online writing credit to gen-ed system

The course will
provide an interactive and self-paced online environment in which students' writing skills are diagnosed and improved.

The goal is to provide support to these general education courses
with needed writing instruction that is not available in the typical 50 minute lecture period.

Strategies in the online course include: tutorials on topics in writing not ordinarily covered by professors, such as grammar, drafting a thesis and style and craft ... as well as strategic visits to the writing center.

Additionally, [w]riting proficiency will be tested by a diagnostic system that will, depending on the student's score, direct him or her signed to target a given problem area. These modules will feature flash animation and other interactive software tailored to the specific skill level of the student.

According to English professor and associate provost of academic affairs Thomas Miller, the online course will help deal with problems in writing essays before it's too late.

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