Re: Computer syllabus

Subject: Re: Computer syllabus
From: Stuart Selber <sselber -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 1993 11:10:54 -0400

Mary - post your query to the computers and writing list (megabyte
univerity): mbu-l -at- ttuvm1 -dot- bitnet -dot- This is a forum specifically dedicated to
issues surrounding computers and writing, and there is *much* discussion
surrounding computer-based classrooms. You might also look at past issues
of the journal _Computers and Composition_ and the many articles on
computer-based pedagogy.

I agree with Mary Beth that we need to avoid becoming "technocentric." I
think our goals as writing teachers remain the same--the approach (the
computer-based classroom) is what's different. And this approach both opens
up and closes down interesting possibilities for students and teachers.

On a practical level, we do a lot of computer-based conferencing in my
technical writing classes (both synchronous and asynchronous) in addition
to face-to-face discussion. The dynamic is different and interesting, and
it seems to move me a bit from the center. You might frame these
discussions in terms of collaboration, having students work together on
projects, comment on readings, whatever. The only warning I have, from my
limited experience, is that computer-bases classes require more time and
energy than traditional ones, at least intially. And there are the
inevitable technological wrinkles to deal with. Be friendly to your lab


>I'm interested in begging sample syllabi from anyone who is teaching Technical
>Writing in a computer classroom. I have a chance to have my junior-senior
>Tech. Writ. class meet in a computer classroom during the spring semester and
>need to know what software to buy that might work most effectively and what
>methods have worked for other people. Ours is a Macintosh room running
>Microsoft Word 5.0. The computers are networked already, but not with any
>specific teaching package. I'm open to suggestions and don't wish to reinvent
>the wheel. Thanks. Mary Massirer (mary_massirer -at- english -dot- baylor -dot- edu)

Stuart A. Selber
Department of Humanities email: sselber -at- mtu -dot- edu
Michigan Technological University phone: 906-487-3252
Houghton, MI 49931 fax: 906-487-3347

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