About Teaching Writing Online
First, I was very excited to find that Scott Warnock has a blog.
I am sold on the idea of teaching writing online and have become enthusiastic about it (or at least less ambivalent) through our class discussions and readings. Yet looming questions remain. After reading Teaching Writing Online I am wondering how many of you agree with one of the basic tenets of this book, i.e. that many of the qualities of teaching-as-practiced are persistent whatever the mode of delivery. In other words, a basic premise in Warnock’s migration metaphor is that what you do well in you f2f teaching you can do well on-line. Do you all agree with this? Are you all okay with what Warnock left out of this conversation? What do you think is missing in argument for why we should teach writing online?
He also says teaching writing online is indeed better? More progressive? Do we agree with this? Is writing more necessarily better? Is the fact that everything the student does in the course is through writing better?
In the introduction to the book Warnock writes “I will simply state here that the OWcourse allows us to refocus our teaching efforts on the core element of the FYW course: written work our students create.” I am wondering if you all think there is indeed one core element in FYW and if so is this it?
In responding to these questions myself, I am thinking of Gee and his work on literacy; his ideas about how literacy and thinking are primarily social achievements. So if it is true that what determines how you read and think about some particular text is “your own experiences in interacting with other people who are members” in that ongoing conversation, then what happens when you take the f2f interaction out of the experience? Another way to ask this is what is lost when we take away the f2f interaction if indeed literacy and thinking are social achievements?