OWI Principle 8: Online writing teachers should receive fair and equitable compensation for their work.
Babb, Jacob. “Reshaping Institutional Mission: OWI and Writing Program Administration.” Handbook of Research on Writing and Composing in the Age of MOOCs, edited by Elizabeth Monsky and Kristina Blair, IGI Global, 2017, pp. 202–15.
Babb argues that Writing Program Administrators are uniquely positioned as knowledgeable practitioners to lead important change for OWI practices within their university, and they can lead broader institutional change by connecting online learning to the school’s current mission statements. Using the institutional mission as a backdrop and a starting point for reflection and conversation, WPA’s can improve student learning, contingent faculty working conditions, and online training and technology gaps. As online learning continues to be a driving force within higher education, Babb points to the university mission as a place for conversation, growth, and change. He points out that even the mission itself may need to adapt and change to better reflect and accommodate the education needs and experience brought about by online learning.
Keywords: faculty development, writing program administration, online education, contingent faculty
OWI: 3, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14, 15
Beavers, Melvin. “Preparing Part-time Contingent Faculty to Teach First-Year Writing Online: Examining Writing Program Administrator Approaches.” Dissertation, University of Arkansas – Little Rock, 2019.
Beavers uses an explanatory mixed-methods approach to examine how WPAs provide professional development and support for contingent faculty in online writing classes. Using survey and interview research, Beavers found that WPAs use an “administrative rhetorical mindset” in professionalizing contingent faculty. The administrative rhetorical mindset includes creating an inclusive, supportive community for contingent faculty, offering contingent faculty feedback for their online classes, informing contingent faculty of regional conferences, and being attuned to the multiple roles that they serve in their departments. Time and money were the greatest barriers to providing professional development for online contingent faculty, and WPAs showed resilience in finding new ways to meet online contingent faculty professional development needs. This study reinforces the need for additional support for online contingent faculty given the increasing role that they play in online first-year writing.
Keywords: contingent faculty, writing program administration, mixed methods, research
OWI Principles: 1, 7, 8, 15
Blair, Kristine L., and Elizabeth A. Monske. “Cui Bono?: Revisiting the Promises and Perils of Online Learning.” Computers and Composition, vol. 20, no. 4, 2003, pp. 441-53. 20th Anniversary Special Issue, Part 1. Science Direct, doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2003.08.016.
Blair and Monske ask the question “Who benefits?” from the technologies of teaching and learning. Their article reviews fifteen years of discussions surrounding distance education. They begin with the early promises of asynchronous networks and computer-networked classrooms, most of which promised to empower student writers. The field of writing studies then shifted as scholars found that “the egalitarianism narrative was replaced with more specific questions related to agency, identity politics, and the theoretical and practical rejection of predictions for blanket empowerment of all students in electronic environments” (445). As online courses became more commercialized, the narratives shifted to ones of economy based on assumptions about the ease of online classes and the demand on instructors to be continuously present. These new demands on online instructors highlighted problems with hiring, promotion and tenure processes. Blair and Monske end with a call for continued attention to the question of who benefits, cautioning that we “must continue to address equally the needs of students and instructors, questioning the extent to which current rhetorics of distance education (stressing access, convenience, and immediacy) empowers one group and potentially disenfranchises another” (449). This article provides a comprehensive history of the narratives surrounding distance learning and online writing instruction up until the early 21st century.
Keywords: teaching with technology: English, agency, faculty workload, adjunct
OWI Principles: 2, 5, 7, 8
Blakelock, Jane, and Tracy E. Smith. “Distance Learning: From Multiple Snapshots, A Composite Portrait.” Computers and Composition, vol. 23, no. 1, 2006, pp. 139-61. Science Direct, doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2005.12.008.
Blakelock and Smith trace important institutional attitudes and labor practices that contributed to the state of distance learning in 2005. Their findings are based on a survey they distributed to a diverse array of intuitional types. They also followed-up with participants to ask personal interview questions and compared their findings to previous national studies on the subject. In their discussion, they point out several patterns and trends that relate to actual—not theoretical—distance learning practices that teachers and students are exposed to in writing classrooms. They are also attentive to administrative treatment of distance learning. They pay particular attention to the misconceptions that distance learning is often embroiled in and how those do or do not play out in writing classrooms. Further, they offer a logistical breakdown of course caps, the teachers, and the technologies used for distance learning. Their conclusions suggest that 1) fears and myths about distance learning are often not realized, 2) while circumstances for online teachers are improving, rising course caps remain a concern for students’ educational quality and instructors’ labor conditions, 3) technical help must remain constant for teachers, 4) “incentives and compensation need to be more commensurate with workload” (159), 5) we need to conduct formal research on assessment of online writing courses, and 6) we must continue to encourage quality online courses departmentally and as a field.
Keywords: academic labor, pedagogy: English, composition, faculty workload, distance learning, surveys, interviews, course caps
OWI Principles: 7, 8, 9, 15
Borgman, Jessie. "The Online Writing Program Administrator (OWPA): “Maintaining a Brand in the Age of MOOCs." Handbook of Research on Writing and Composing in the Age of MOOCs, edited by Elizabeth Monsky and Kristina Blair, IGI Global, 2017, pp. 188–201.
This chapter explores issues specific writing program administration considering the huge influx of online writing courses across the country. The author argues that a pedagogical shift has occurred that requires a change in administering writing programs: teaching online is different than teaching face-to-face. Considering this influx and pedagogical shift, the author argues that in the age of MOOCs, focusing on faculty support and the development and maintenance of online writing courses (OWCs) becomes imperative. In order for online writing instructors to focus on what they do best (teaching), they need to be led by someone with online writing instruction (OWI) experience who is trained and qualified to lead a writing program that includes OWCs. The author argues for the development of a new WPA role, an Online Writing Program Administrator (OWPA), in order to distinguish a brand (a concept from Keith Rhodes, 2010) of OWI, which is distinctly different than the instruction and content offered by MOOCs.
Keywords: writing program administration, MOOCs, faculty development,
OWI Principles: 7, 8, 9, 14
Borgman, Jessie, and Christine I. McClure. “The Ultimate Balancing Act: Contingent Online Teaching and PhD Coursework.” Forum: Issues About Part-Time & Contingent Faculty in College Composition and Communication, vol. 23, no. 1, September 2019, pp. A3–A8.
Borgman and McClure described the heavy teaching loads they balance with being PhD students (Borgman online and McClure on-campus). They identified challenges for online contingent faculty: the demanding workload of teaching personalized classes with multimodal content, the lack of professional development, the disconnection from other departmental faculty, and the toll on personal health. However, getting their PhDs gave them the opportunity to examine their work/life balance and make adjustments and gives them the confidence they need to make the next step in their careers.
Keywords: contingent faculty, graduate education
OWI Principles: 7, 8
Charles, Cristie Cowles. “Why We Need More Assessment of Online Composition Courses: A Brief History.” Kairos, vol. 7, no. 3, 2002, kairos.technorhetoric.net/7.3/binder2.html?coverweb/charles/index.html.
Charles believes the problems with online composition courses have arisen because a thorough evaluation of their effectiveness has not been done. Large-scale distance learning programs often are based upon a corporate model that places the student as the consumer that excludes faculty input and control over curriculum. In contrast to the corporate model, Charles explores the development of online courses through individual instructor design. She suggests these online courses are more student-centered. However, instructor-developed courses are not often formally assessed. Charles sites the American Federation of Teachers’ 2001 proposal to provide “basic standards that will ensure a quality distance course.” Among some of the top recommendations were 1) that faculty control the curriculum, 2) that faculty are trained to teach online, 3) that students are prepared for distance learning, 4) that class size is determined by best practices in the field, 5) that assessment of student learning should be similar to what is done in face-to-face courses, and 6) that the courses should cover the same content. She suggests these proposals should be areas of evaluation for online composition courses in addition to assessing student writing.
Keywords: assessment, distance learning, evaluation, faculty development, student preparation
OWI Principles: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Day, Michael. “Teachers at the Crossroads: Evaluating Teaching in Electronic Environments.” Computers and Composition, vol. 17, no. 1, 2000, pp. 31-40. Science Direct, doi:10.1016/S8755-4615(99)00028-6.
Day notes that, while many writing instructors at the turn of the 21st century were already incorporating new technologies into their writing courses, the use of technology was a risk for those learning to work with technologies. The primary risks are 1) students who are critical on instructor evaluations as they struggled to learn technologies and the content of the writing course, 2) the additional workload of incorporating technology might take away from other areas of teaching, 3) evaluators might misunderstand the “decentered or student-centered” nature of computer-mediated courses and thus see a classroom that they consider “messy or disorganized” (32-33). Day uses the term “electronic panopticon and provides an example in which a faculty member was given an “unfortunate” evaluation to provide guidelines for educating those who review computer-mediated classrooms for the purposes of faculty evaluation. He recommends, based on that evaluation process, that instructors ask questions in the hiring process that clarify how and how much they will be evaluated for their use of technology in the classroom, and that they also follow particular processes for creating retention, tenure, and promotion materials. Finally, he provides guidelines for those who are evaluating these materials and concludes that those working with technology in their classrooms will always need to carefully explain their work.
Keywords: evaluation, computer-mediated communication, faculty development, tenure-track faculty
OWI Principles: 7, 8, 12
DePew, Kevin Eric, et al. “Designing Efficiencies: The Parallel Narratives of Distance Education and Composition Studies.” Computers and Composition, vol. 23, no. 1, 2006, pp. 49–67. Science Direct, doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2005.12.005.
Kevin DePew, Teddi Fishman, Bridget Fahey Ruetenik and Julia Romberger consider “the parallel historical narratives” of distance-education (DE) and Current-Traditional Rhetoric (CTR) in order to highlight the “trend toward mechanization” in order to bring greater “efficiency” to the teaching of writing (50). The article begins with a brief history of DE classes, paying close attention to the promises of efficiency embedded in the language surrounding DE. The authors then point to similar language in the narrative of CTR, in particularly how the “priority [is] placed on data and material information gathering set forth in an objective report” (52). As composition classes were prepared for distance delivery, even after social-epistemic pedagogies became more prevalent, instructors found themselves falling back on ideologies of CTR as they moved face-to-face classes online. The article demonstrates through examples how the goals of efficiency and scale touted by administrators clash with faculty’s desire for small, interactive, writing-intensive classes. Institutions must be mindful of the balance between cost-effectiveness and sound pedagogy when creating online writing classes, in particular to resist the separation of content and delivery and the desire to create courses as “packages” separate from instruction. The authors end with a call for practitioners to familiarize themselves with the histories of sub-disciplines within composition studies that drive current ideologies of efficiency and to research student and instructor experience to shape more effective DE pedagogies.
Keywords: constructivism, current traditional rhetoric, instructional design, course and program design: English, course caps, faculty development, online writing programs
OWI Principles: 5, 7, 8, 12
DeVoss, Danielle, Dawn Hayden, Cynthia L. Selfe, and Richard J. Selfe, Jr. “Distance Education: Political and Professional Agency for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty, and GTAs.” Moving a Mountain: Transforming the Role of Contingent Faculty in Composition Studies and Higher Education, edited by Eileen Schell and Patricia Stock, National Council of Teachers of English, 2001, pp. 261–286.
At a time when part-time and adjunct faculty made up only 50% of faculty in two-year colleges and were 43% of the English Studies workforce, DeVoss et al. used the experience of one adjunct faculty member, Dawn Hayden, to illustrate the problems with the then current distance education practices. They build a case for “attending critically to the development of, training for, and institutionalization of distance-education curricula” (264). They acknowledge that, at the turn of the 21st century, English Studies could not simply say “no” to implementing technology in writing classrooms. They note the relationships between the development of distance education programs and the exploitation of part-time and adjunct employees and the access issues faced by poor and minority students. The authors call for English studies professionals to make distance education a means of changing the power relations between tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty by including contingent faculty in the conversations about distance education in English studies. They conclude with recommendations for individual instructors, departments and institutions, and the field of English studies, urging them to pay attention to the effects of distance education on all of the stakeholders involved.
Keywords: adjunct, graduate teaching assistants, distance learning, faculty workload, professional development, writing program administration
OWI Principles: 1, 7, 8, 12
Ehmann, Christa, and Beth L. Hewett. “OWI Research Considerations.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 517-46.
Ehmann and Hewett address key issues of research into OWI by considering development of research questions, theoretical frameworks, methods, analytical approaches, and dissemination venues. After a literature review that supports the exigency for OWI research, they discuss the need for qualitative and quantitative research, and they provide an analysis of some methodological research approaches with emphasis on replicable, aggregable, and data-supported (RAD) research. Organizationally, they align their literature review and discussions of various research topics with the OWI Principles and offer a series of research questions that readers can develop into potentially useful projects. OWI Principle 1 regarding access and inclusivity is a primary concern as it is one of the least explored considerations of online literacy instruction. Among the topics they consider for research are online tutoring, automated writing evaluation (AWE), and massive open online courses (MOOCs). This chapter may be especially helpful to those seeking to develop core research projects in OWI.
Keywords: access, automated writing evaluation, MOOCs, qualitative research, quantitative research, research, online writing center
OWI Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 15
Grover, Stephen David. “Preparing Graduate Teaching Assistants to Teach Writing Online: A National Assessment of Research and Practice.” Dissertation, Texas Tech University, 2017.
Grover assesses the current state of Online Writing Instruction (OWI) for Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) to determine if the field of OWI is making progress towards its goal of preparation and training. Grover uses a mixed-method design, reviewing literature, surveying current Writing Program Administrators to assess current GTA training programs, and then analyzing the two results. Grover concludes that there is not a great deal of literature specific to OWI GTA preparation and more research is needed here as well as additional voices in the field of OWI. Further, Grover’s program analysis indicates that GTA’s are teaching a good majority of the existing online writing program courses and are often not adequately trained or assessed at all. Finally, Grover calls on WPA’s to expand GTA preparation and intentionally research OWI to better determine the ways to do this preparatory work.
Keywords: writing program administration, graduate teaching assistants, research, faculty development, mixed methods
OWI: 4, 7, 8, 15
Hewett, Beth L. “Fully Online and Hybrid Writing Instruction.” A Guide to Composition Pedagogies, edited by H. Brooke Hessler et al., 2nd ed., Oxford UP, 2013, pp. 194-211.
In this article, Hewett provides a synopsis of OWI in both hybrid and fully online settings. Beginning with a historical view of literacy education, she considers early distance education and how OWI has caused specific concerns about quality, student learning, and empathetic interpersonal connection particularly. Hewett identifies six building blocks of OWI that, once defined for any institutional setting, can be moved about to form a unique OWI program or online writing course: (1) course setting, (2) pedagogical purpose, (3) digital modality, (4) medium, (5) student audience, and (6) technology availability. She purposefully addresses issues of technology last to demonstrate that despite its changeability, nearly any technology choices can be adapted to the online writing program or course purpose once the other five components are fully identified. She suggests some core resources that have been written with OWI’s earlier history in mind. Further, she considers issues of access, the need for more and better OWLs, and the development of financially compensated or otherwise rewarded training for teachers and tutors to be among the most critical concerns as OWI moves to the future.
Keywords: hybrid, literacy, distance education, pedagogy: English, modality, audience, accessibility, teaching with technology: English, online writing labs, tutoring: English
OWI Principles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14
Hewett, Beth L. “Grounding Principles of OWI.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 33-92.
Hewett provides the theoretical background that supports the OWI Principles. She explicates each OWI Principle and addresses it within the context of the first principle regarding access and inclusivity. Each OWI Principle is presented in its full text along with the rationale the OWI Committee had originally provided for each principle. Hewett then offers a discussion that provides the committee’s historical research and discussions regarding the principle; its theoretical rationale; its connections to replicable, aggregable, and data-supported (RAD) research; and its general importance to those who study, research, and teach with OWI.
Keywords: accessibility, asynchronous interaction, hybrid, research, synchronous interaction, CCCC OWI Committee
OWI Principles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Hewett, Beth L., and Kevin Eric DePew, editors. Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015.
This book addresses the questions that OWI instructors and writing program, writing center, and other administrators should consider when developing viable OWI programs that have potentially effective practices. Each chapter corresponds to concerns raised in the 2013 A Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices published to the NCTE website by the CCCC Committee for Effective Practices in OWI. The five parts of this book address relevant issues for a principle-centered OWI: (1) An OWI Primer, (2) OWI Pedagogy and Administrative Decisions, (3) Practicing Inclusivity in OWI, (4) Faculty and Student Preparation for OWI, and (5) New Directions in OWI. Hewett and DePew emphasize a future academy where most writing courses will be taught or otherwise presented in some type of online setting, which makes it a core text for the next generation of composition theory and praxis and valuable for those who teach and/or tutor students writing in online settings.
Keywords: accessibility, inclusivity, praxis, research, theory, writing program administration, online writing programs, student preparation, faculty development, tutoring: English, online tutoring, writing centers, CCCC OWI Committee
OWI Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Hewett, Beth L., and Kevin Eric DePew. “Introduction: A Research History of the CCCC OWI Committee.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 5-30.
Hewett and DePew outline the history of the CCCC Committee for Effective Practices in Online Writing Instruction (OWI) and its research. This historical background enables readers to understand the empirical quantitative and qualitative research that grounds the 2013 A Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices published to the NCTE website by the CCCC Committee for Effective Practices in OWI. They begin by defining the work of the OWI Committee per its charges from the CCCC Executive Committee upon its 2007 constitution and 2010 reconstitution, and it outlines the vocabulary that the committee has used in its discussions of OWI. They continue by explaining the committee’s general research methods that included 1) determining core research questions, 2) developing an annotated bibliography of the extant literature up until 2008, 3) conducting site visits and personal interviews, 4) developing and launching two national surveys, 5) analyzing and reporting on those surveys through a report of the contemporary state of OWI in both fully online and hybrid settings, 6) developing an expert/stakeholder’s group that could advise the committee, and 7) writing the OWI Principles. They describe the importance of understanding all of its work in the context of a new understanding of access and inclusivity. Finally, they end by outlining the rest of the book by sections and chapters. This unique book has the potential to serve OWI administrators, teachers, and tutors as they assist and teach students through online media.
Keywords: CCCC OWI Committee, faculty development, research, literature review, interviews, surveys, accessibility, inclusivity, writing program administration, online writing programs
OWI Principles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Howard, Laura. “A (Critical) Distance: Contingent Labor, MOOCs, and Teaching Online.” Handbook of Research on Writing and Composing in the Age of MOOCs, edited by Elizabeth Monsky and Kristina Blair, IGI Global, 2017, pp. 232–53.
Howard explains the working conditions of contingent online instructors and their connection to the globalized and corporatized nature of American higher education. She reframes the MOOC as a potential site for finding new opportunities change to online instruction pedagogies and faculty working conditions. MOOCs disrupt current pedagogical practices by connecting learners in networks where knowledge is formed in spaces such as peer review groups. This emphasis on connected learning fundamentally changes the role of the instructor, creating the possibility for new types of courses and learning. Finally, Howard calls readers to embrace these technologies and spaces with creativity as one way to begin to change the reality of the contingent online worker.
Keywords: MOOCs, contingent faculty, globalization
OWI Principles: 2, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15
Jaramillo-Santoy, Janie, and Gina Cano-Monreal. “Training Faculty for Online Instruction: Applying Technical Communication Theory to the Design of a Mentoring Program.” Online Education 2.0: Evolving, Adapting, and Reinventing Online Technical Communication, edited by Kelli Cargile Cook and Keith Grant-Davie, Baywood, 2013, pp. 91–112.
Expanding on Marjorie Davis’s 2005 argument regarding technical communicators as ideal online program designers, Jaramillo-Santoy and Cano-Monreal’s program Mentor2Mentor (M2M) utilizes faculty online teaching skills to help faculty new to online teaching become proficient. The chapter describes the development of M2M through an analysis of collaborative relationships at the institution, articulates the mission statement, analyzes the needs of the target audiences, and provides a model of assessing the mentee’s needs regarding both knowledge of online pedagogy and knowledge of tools for course design and/or delivery. Working with both the Quality Matters guidelines and an internal document created by the college’s Distance Learning Committee, the authors designed a program that fast-tracks the mentee through Neuhauser’s Online Course Design Maturity model. Then, the mentor works with the mentee to design a prototype course. Once the prototype has been approved, the mentor supports the mentee in the design and delivery of the course during the first term the course is delivered. Finally, the cycle is assessed through feedback from both the mentor and the mentee, and the institution provides appropriate compensation, certification, and recognition for both mentors and mentees. This chapter highlights a development, delivery, and assessment cycle for a one-to-one faculty professional development model that negotiates the needs of individuals, the requirements of sound online pedagogy, and the institutional limitations placed on online writing faculty.
Keywords: faculty development, mentoring, online writing programs, assessment, Quality Matters, instructional design, pedagogy: English, faculty satisfaction
OWI Principles: 3, 5, 7, 8, 12
McGrath, Laura. “In Their Own Voices: Online Writing Instructors Speak Out on Issues of Preparation, Development, and Support.” Computers and Composition Online, Spring 2008, www2.bgsu.edu/departments/english/cconline/OWIPDS/introduction.html.
McGrath argues that “if faculty trainers, administrators, and other stakeholders are to make informed decisions about training and support, they need to know what online writing instructors are saying about these matters.” In order to provide this information, she conducted two surveys—one national and one local—as well as three interviews, each directed to online writing instructors asking about their perception of the training, professional development, and support they receive in their work. Her results indicate that most training is voluntary and focused on technological rather than pedagogical issues, that departmental and university administrators generally express little interest in instructors’ online teaching, and that most online instructors feel that their departments and institutions do not adequately value their online teaching and its time-intensive nature. McGrath calls for greater training and support, noting a special need for discipline-specific, pedagogy-based training to supplement general, technology-focused offerings, and recommends departments consider electing an “eLearning coordinator” to lead such efforts.
Keywords: teacher training, faculty development, administration, writing program administration, online writing programs, faculty satisfaction, faculty workload
OWI Principles: 7, 8, 12, 15
Mechenbier, Mahli. “Contingent Faculty and OWI.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 227-49.
This chapter examines the challenges facing contingent faculty as a growing number of online courses—specifically online writing courses—are taught by adjunct instructors. Mechenbier details how the lack of training and communication for online writing instructors negatively affects the student learning experience, decreases retention of quality professors, and impacts the institution’s writing program over time. She goes on to describe the implications of limited access to university resources and the lack of community between part-time faculty and the institution. The remainder of the chapter discusses the poor compensation of contingent faculty and touches on issues regarding intellectual property and ownership of class materials. Mechenbier concludes with recommendations that serve to improve the relationship between adjunct faculty and the writing program administrators, leading to improved online writing instruction.
Keywords: contingent faculty, adjunct, administration, faculty development, intellectual property, community, faculty workload, faculty satisfaction
OWI Principles: 3, 5, 7, 8, 10
Minter, Deborah. “Administrative Decisions for OWI.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 211-26.
Minter argues that WPAs must make smart and ethical decisions for online writing instruction in their programs and should look to the CCCC Position Statement of Principles and Examples of Effective Practices for Online Writing Instruction (OWI) for direction. Factors that WPAs should consider include class size and student preparation. Class size is pertinent for the same reasons class size matters for onsite courses; however, Minter references current OWI research that argues reading for both teachers and students in online writing courses can increase significantly with each new student, as both students and teachers read more for each student actively participating in the course. Student preparation for online learning is also a crucial consideration. WPAs should advocate for ethical support and professional development for online writing instructors, which extends to student preparation for online learning. Student orientations to online writing courses and comparable support, such as online writing consultation and access to library faculty, are crucial to student success. Minter closes with a brief discussion of the need for WPAs to advocate for financial support of online writing instruction and financial incentives for teaching online courses.
Keywords: writing program administration, course caps, reading, faculty workload, online resources, online writing programs, faculty satisfaction, student preparation, orientations
OWI Principles 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13
Palmquist, Mike, and Sue Doe. "An Evolving Discourse: The Shifting Uses of Position Statements on the Contingent Faculty." ADE Bulletin, no. 153, 2013, pp. 23-34.
Mike Palmquist and Sue Doe note that numerous professional organizations have issued statements and resolutions focused on the status and working conditions of contingent faculty in the profession. How these assertions and arguments in turn affect advances in recognizing the issues resulting from an increased dependence on contingent labor--especially in composition courses--has been discouraging. Although the dialogue regarding these issues has been prolific at the national level, action at the local level comes with a distinctive set of structural challenges. Palmquist and Doe recommend that universities and administrators revisit the conversations which are a part of this national concern so that approaches to tenure and alternate forms of job security can be explored, recognizing the contributions of contingent faculty in this period of shifting appointments in academic labor.
Keywords: contingent faculty, faculty satisfaction, faculty workload
OWI Principles: 7, 8
Rice, Rich. “Faculty Professionalization for OWI.” Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, WAC Clearinghouse, 2015, pp. 389-410.
Online writing instruction and online writing courses must be supported by faculty who have access to ongoing, dynamic, professional development and fair compensation. Professionalization of the field of OWI includes providing spaces for shared resources and reflective practices and the ability to create flexible, reusable curricula that meet program goals and objectives. Support systems must be put in place to allow faculty to critically evaluate their work so they can improve their work over time. Technology and the delivery of online courses continues to change. Therefore, to create the best learning experiences for faculty and students, there must be time, space, and clearly supportive systems within which faculty can foster ongoing reflective praxis and scholarly pursuits.
Keywords: faculty development, faculty workload, academic labor, online resources, faculty satisfaction, praxis, reflection, course and program design: English
OWI Principle 7, 8, 12
Shih, Ru-Chu. “Can Web 2.0 Technology Assist College Students in Learning English Writing? Integrating ‘Facebook’ and Peer Assessment with Blended Learning.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 27, no. 5, 2011, pp. 829-45.
This article presents the findings of a study examining a writing course for first-year students at a technical university in Taiwan that used Facebook, peer assessment, and classroom instruction in a blended learning environment. For this course, students were required to post their writing assignments to Facebook, respond to each other’s writing via Facebook’s comment function, and then respond to each other’s feedback. For the study, twenty-three students were divided into three groups based on their National College Entrance Exam scores. Shih used both quantitative and qualitative methods to ascertain the perspective of students and the instructor about the class and changes in students writing as a result of the class. Results of a pre- and post-test demonstrated improvement for all students, but particularly those who were in the lowest scoring group. Content analysis showed that those in the highest scoring group commented the most, most likely due to their higher competency with English. Shih found that many students used emoticons or the “like” button within Facebook to accompany their comments. Results of a survey given to students revealed moderate to high satisfaction with aspects of the course. Interviews with students corroborated these findings; students seemed to appreciate the opportunity to communicate with and receive feedback from their peers on Facebook. The instructor’s reflection suggested that a blended learning model relying on online peer assessment may actually require more time and effort for instructors. Shih concludes that the study supports the effectiveness of this course model and calls for future research with a larger sample of students.
Keywords: blended, social media, assessment, peer review, community, research, empirical research, ESL, EFL, ELL, L2, multilingual writers, accessibility, faculty workload, time management
OWI Principles: 1, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 15
Snart, Jason. Hybrid Learning: The Perils and Promise of Blending Online and Face-to-Face Instruction in Higher Education, Praeger, 2010.
This book offers a thoroughly researched and critical exploration into hybrid teaching and learning. While not a “how-to” book for online and hybrid teaching and learning, readers looking for ways to create and/or improve their online or hybrid classes can find a plethora of ideas for classroom application through the thought-provoking discussions about the historical, political, financial, technological, and pedagogical aspects of online and hybrid classes. Snart provides an insightful and critical examination into the most controversial issues facing higher education that many administrators think will be solved by online classes, such as increasing enrollment, retention, and completion rates, and increasing profit. The book is divided into seven chapters that address challenges in higher education; reasons for increased interest in hybrid classes; cultural motivations; profiles of hybrid classes, programs, and student experience; the use of technology to build community and increase collaboration; and speculation about the future of hybrid delivery.
Key words: hybrid, blended, computer-mediated classrooms, educational technology, pedagogy: English, culture, online writing programs, collaboration, teaching with technology: English
OWI Principles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
Warnock, Scott. “And Then There Were Two: The Growing Pains of an Online Writing Course Faculty Training Initiative.” Proceedings of the Distance Learning Administration (DLA) 2007 Conference, St. Simons Island GA, 26 June 2007.
Warnock provides an account of the attrition associated with a new online faculty training initiative at Drexel University in 2004. He outlines the challenges that Drexel faced when the university decided to put 20% of its first year writing courses online in Fall 2004. That decision meant that at least 20 instructors would need online training to teach those courses; however, as the summer program progressed, the program lost instructors quickly. By the end of the fall term, only one instructor was still enrolled in the online training program. Challenges of establishing the online training program included lack of institutional backing, offering too many courses online at one time with a technologically unprepared faculty, emphasizing technology over pedagogy in previous training, and providing no course-specific instruction. Differences in opinion over the emphasis of the training course resulted in additional challenges. Some instructors wanted a course template created for them while others wanted to learn all of the tools and capabilities of the learning management system. In addition, the university failed to advertise the online courses, and enrollment for Fall 2004 was low. A 44% drop rate in online courses occurred due to students’ misunderstanding about the work and self-motivation needed for success in online classes. Despite the hurdles, the training program was restored in subsequent semesters as more teachers experimented with and found success in hybrid classes.
Keywords: first-year writing, hybrid, faculty development, teaching with technology: English, online writing programs, writing program administration
OWI Principles: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12
William, David. “Consequences of Mental Models on Online Writing Course Design.” 2015 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (IPCC), 2015, pp 1–5.
William considers how design decisions suggest underlying mental models using a multiple case study approach analyzed through activity theory. Four primarily asynchronous courses in both the U.S. and Canada were the subjects of study. He identifies two primary mental models that underlie online course design. The first is the “core need” model with instructors as the primary designers and a focus on social interaction. The second was the “portfolio-workbook” model incorporated in courses that expanded online offerings rather than responding to institutional need. In the latter courses, coordinators engaged subject-matter experts and professional instructional designers. Teaching assistants answered student questions. The design was strongly influenced by professional instructional designers with instructors as SMEs. Understanding whether a course is a core need course or a portfolio-workbook course will help institutions determine time and budget for developing online writing courses and help instructors shape their thinking about online learning.
Keywords: course and program design: English, instructional design, models, case study
OWI Principles: 1, 4, 8, 11, 15