Benefits for Students and Teachers
Learning Pedagogy and Practice: As the remaining items in this list illustrate,
students participate actively, using language, images, and media to interact with course content,
with classmates, with teachers, and with others.
Reflection: With asynchronous electronic communication such as email,
Web discussion boards, and Weblogs, students have time to compose, review, and revise their
writing before they submit it to teachers and others. One result is
edited written interaction with asynchronous discussions
not bound by time and place.
Spontaneity: Chat, MOOs, instant messaging, and other informal, synchronous
written interactions allow for
brainstorming, planning sessions, quick student-teacher or student-student chats, and study sessions before exams not bound by place.
In addition, these conversations produce transcripts that can be used later and shared with others not online
during the chat.
Awareness and Accountability: When composing to and for classmates
they know will read and respond to rather than assess or grade them, students
develop awareness of authentic audiences that may motivate additional attention
to their writing as well as improve their responses to topics assigned by their
Subject area classes become more communication-rich. Shy and less vocal students
who are reluctant to speak in class or to talk with professors individually may
feel more comfortable with online communication.
and Publishing Opportunities:
Participation in a class discussion list, discussion board, or Weblog is instant
publication of student writing. Online documents are shareable for a variety of
editing, revising, and publishing activities. More thoughtful and reflective individual
and collaborative publications such as digital portfolios and Web projects may
be shared with wider audiences.
Teamwork: Various group and collaborative composing activities are possible, including small group
discussions and complex Web research and development. These projects can be within
or across disciplines; written and visual compositions or multimedia; and local,
regional, national, or international.
Awareness: Student writers, researchers, and media developers make rhetorical
decisions for various purposes, audiences, genres, disciplines, and professions.
and Variety for Teachers: Many teachers consider their teaching and research
invigorated by the opportunity to use communication technology. They reflect on and revise their teaching
for computer-enhanced, mixed-mode, or totally online classes. Teachers can take
on a variety of roles: mentor, facilitator, expert, collaborator, authority, co-learner.
Expression: Students expand their literacy by making choices about which media
to combine with which words and by developing original graphics and media as well
as writing critically and reflectively about those choices.
- Students who have more confidence
in their writing than in their speaking have a chance to demonstrate their thinking.
- Students who have more confidence in their speaking than their writing have a
chance to develop their writing.
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developed and copyright ©1996 by D. Reiss
modified slightly and copyright ©3 October 2014 by D. Reiss