Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction
Beth L. Hewett, Conference on College Composition
Kevin Eric DePew, Old Dominion University
Elif Guler, Longwood University
Robbin Zeff Warner
Copyright Year: 2015
ISBN 13: 9781602356672
Publisher: WAC Clearinghouse
Conditions of Use
Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction is a comprehensive look at teaching writing via online and/or Hybrid settings. It contains a broad spectrum of Online Writing Instruction (OWI) topics and combines research with examples for... read more
Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction is a comprehensive look at teaching writing via online and/or Hybrid settings. It contains a broad spectrum of Online Writing Instruction (OWI) topics and combines research with examples for implementing the 15 grounding principles for OWI instruction put forth in this book. The 18 chapters in the book are designed to be stand alone topics that can be used individually, or the book can be utilized comprehensively to examine the many issues surrounding online writing instruction. The book was written by a collaborative team created by the College Composition and Communication Conference.
Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction provides evidence for it 15 grounding principles based on research from the field. Part 1, An OWI Primer, has evidence-based rationale for online/hybrid course design and implementation. Part 3, Practicing Inclusivity, had an excellent chapter (8) on Physical and Learning Disabilities in OWI; however, the chapter on Non-Traditional Student Access to OWI (10) had dated information and questionable student profiles. In Part 5, New Directions, there is a chapter (16) titled OWI on the Go, about Smartphones and Tablets that seemed out dated and disconnected from current student trends.
The initial sections of this book will continue to be a good resource for OWI development and design in a timeless manner. The grounding principles are strong and well thought out. The second half of the book, sections 3-5, have embedded the grounding principles, which is helpful, but the technology and delivery methods will rapidly change in online learning as well as sourcing for online courses, so the later sections of the book could become dated in a short time frame.
I found this to be a clear and easy to read text. The format was standard throughout the book, even with multiple authors. Terminology was well defined and clear for a technical topic.
The book has a very consistent format throughout each of the sections. Despite having several authors within the text, each chapter utilizes a consistent format and the voices of the authors flow together well making the book seem unified. I did notice contradictory student profiles. In Chapter 1 there is a story of a 21-year-old who fails an OWI class and a discussion regarding reasons for the failure. In chapter 10, “older adults” had basically the same story line, but the failure was attributed to age and life experiences. The authors did a good job of consistency in format throughout the book; however, there was inconsistency in what makes the successful OWI student. Addressing students as under-prepared rather than by age would have made the book more consistent.
The book is designed to allow the chapters to be used individually or a comprehensive big picture of OWI; however, Part 3 Practicing Inclusivity, does not feel like it would be effective with the chapters in isolation from one another. Chapter 8 has critical information about physical and learning disabilities that should not be missed.
I read the book cover to cover, with more interest in the sections that were relevant to my online teaching experiences. The book is well organized, and the chapters flow together nicely. The different voices of the authors do not disrupt the readability of the book. I think the book makes more sense in its entirety. The foundation for the grounding principles are found in the first section of the book. If a reader does not understand the grounding principles, even though they are mentioned in each chapter, the rational for their development is missing.
The book is an easy read. The consistency of the organization makes it easy to follow as the different points development. Multiple authors can make a book feel disjointed, but that is not the case with this book.
Who would question writing instructors’ grammar?
My teaching experience, both online and in the traditional classroom involves transitioning non-traditional students to college. I found many comments in Chapter 10 to be very stereotypical and not representative of the population. It worries me that this chapter could be used in isolation from the rest of the book. Much of the research used in this chapter is old or based on personal conversations with noted contributors. It does not acknowledge many characteristics of successful adult learners and tends to focus on the most marginalized populations. I found this section to be very demeaning to a population of students who cannot be defined in such a narrow way. It’s offensive to say,” … they have adolescent-like needs” (page 322). In addition, the words “older” and “elderly” are not interchangeable. Many working adults are very successful at handling the multiple aspects of their lives while working full-time and going to college. However, they tend to pick colleges that have more flexible learning opportunities, and online opportunities that their employers may even pay for, taking that burden off their shoulders. The acknowledged schools for site visits and interviews, may not have had enough diversity to identify adult learners’ characteristics. Under-prepared students come in all age groups and backgrounds.
Overall, this book has great grounding principles for OWI. Chapter 8 on Physical and Learning Disabilities should be required reading for anyone teaching online/hybrid classes. However, there are other sections of the book seem like the authors were not in touch with the content areas they wrote about, and the research was dated. For example, talking about Smartphone data and research from 2008 or even 2012 is just too old. The acknowledgement of rural populations limited access to the Internet is an important topic, but again, the data seemed old. It would have been better to address topics that are rapidly changing in a different manner.
The book Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction is comprehensive in areas of promoting the instruction of writing in learners. The intended audience is instructors involved with writing instruction online. It includes many topics... read more
The book Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction is comprehensive in areas of promoting the instruction of writing in learners. The intended audience is instructors involved with writing instruction online. It includes many topics pertinent to online writing instruction and is written by experts.
The chapters include scholarly evidence-based citations for information provided to support principles and points. There are also references which include credible and scholarly sources. As an educator who teaches online and writing within the courses, I found myself agreeing with the substance of the book.
The praxis of online writing instruction is relevant due to the number of online courses available today. The relevance of the book will remain for years, but as technology advances, it is difficult to know how the long-term application of the book will stay intact. Chapter 18 discusses the future of online writing instruction and the authors, Hewett and Warnock point out how writing has evolved over time and will continue to do so.
The book is clear and easy to read. The application examples improve clarity. The book focuses the reader on teaching practice and reflection.
The writing style is consistent throughout the book. The authors do not contradict themselves. A strong grounding in the book is the use of the principles of OWI.
The book includes 18 chapters. Although the book is 605 pages long, not all pages are content text. The book uses many sources, so the reference lists for each chapter are fairly long. Headings are used to break up the content sections within chapters. The chapters flow well from one topic to another and are grouped under five main sections.
Topics are presented in five sections and 18 chapters format that is well organized. Online writing instruction principles are the framework used to discuss the topics in the book. Commonly used abbreviations are included. The abbreviation legend was very helpful as many abbreviations are used in the book.
No navigation or distortion interface issues were experienced while reading this book. I view the book in the PDF format and the epub version without any difficulties.
No grammatical errors are present.
The book includes information about linguistic and cultural diversity of multilingual students. The authors did not say anything explicitly offensive or insensitive.
The book includes information about linguistic and cultural diversity of multilingual students. The authors did not say anything explicitly offensive or insensitive.
This book is the most comprehensive guide to online writing instruction to date. It contains 18 chapters covering every aspect of online writing instruction including teaching fully online and hybrid courses and online writing labs. The book does... read more
This book is the most comprehensive guide to online writing instruction to date. It contains 18 chapters covering every aspect of online writing instruction including teaching fully online and hybrid courses and online writing labs. The book does not contain an index or a glossary, but it does have a list of commonly used abbreviations.
The book is based on research rather than opinion or anecdote. The chapter authors are top experts in the field.
Online writing instruction is something that changes fairly rapidly. Technology will change, but this book is not overly reliant on reference to specific online programs or software. As technology progresses the book will likely have to be updated. This is a relevant topic and the book is still timely.
The various authors' prose is clear and straightforward. Key terms are defined as they are introduced.
The book is based on the work of the CCCC OWI Committee and the terminology and focus is maintained throughout. The chapters refer back to the OWI principles presented by the committee in its reports such as the Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices for OWI .
The chapters are self-contained and can be assigned in any order.
The chapters are presented in five parts and within each part the chapters are logical and well-placed.
The epub is extremely easy and quick to navigate. One can immediately jump to different parts using the bar at the bottom and the pages turn instantly by clicking without having to load. However, I do not see page numbers while reading it. The book can actually read to you aloud which may come in handy.
There are no grammatical errors.
The text is culturally relevant and appropriate.
This book could be used as the primary textbook in a course dedicated to online writing instruction. It will not take the place of training in learning management systems or theories of writing pedagogy. I would recommend that chapters on online writing labs and working with diverse populations be assigned to writing tutors training to work online. This book should be read by any and all instructors currently teaching online or those preparing to do so.
At 600 pages, Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, is a comprehensive report prepared by members of the Online Writing Instruction committee created by the College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC). As such the... read more
At 600 pages, Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, is a comprehensive report prepared by members of the Online Writing Instruction committee created by the College Composition and Communication Conference (CCCC). As such the report presents research and best practices written by a collaborative team of faculty. Site visits from across the country were conducted and significant discussion was had in the preparation of this very important publication. All key aspects of online writing instruction are covered.
The reporting is accurate, peer reviewed, and unbiased.
As Webster Newbold's preface reminds us, much has changed since the early 1990s when brave instructors began pioneering Online Writing using dial-up modems. The content of this book is up to date, but informed by the complete history of online writing instruction; thus as the technology changes moving ahead, this report will remain current for some years because the focus is on best practices of teaching and course design. There's a focus on principals and ethics that inform good practice. One point of note is that it is true that the financial aspects of online education are subject to sudden changes that could render that part of the book out of date soonest.
I found this to be an accessible and clear text. While written for a specific audience of online writing teachers and administrators the book is not filled with jargon. Any necessary technical vocabulary is defined and precise.
Though written by committee, the book speaks with a common voice and the internal organization framework is consistent and clear.
I choose this book primarily to share with a group of colleagues who will be collaborating to build online courses together rather than using for my own students. That said, the book is easily dividable into subsections that will focus different parts of our initial meetings and sections we can return to throughout the summer and fall as we are building and piloting our courses. In terms of this book's usefulness to our committee discussions, modularity is one of its strengths.
At 600 pages the books content can feel overwhelming, but the sectional/ chapter based organization makes it very easy to navigate to key sections. One would likely not read this book cover to cover so that clear sense of organization makes it very user friendly.
Not the most visually engaging book but it is definitely free of any interface issues or navigation problems. Images are clear.
I'm impress at how much effort was put into making OWI culturally relevant to a variety of student groups and concerns.
This book is going to be extremely useful to creating clear and consistent courses.
This book addresses the foundations for Online Writing Instruction in a clear and comprehensive way. It covers the most important topics of the discussion and can be use as a manual or handbook for institutional discussion about the benefits of... read more
This book addresses the foundations for Online Writing Instruction in a clear and comprehensive way. It covers the most important topics of the discussion and can be use as a manual or handbook for institutional discussion about the benefits of implementing OWI.
The book provides and discusses important policies and data about OWI in the introduction. Each chapter presents a bibliography.
The content and consistency of this book is strong.
Although this is not a book by a single author, the clarity through out the text is consistent.
It is a book with different authors yet the terminology and use of abbreviation are very consistent through it.
Chapters 1 and 11 are the largest ones and they have subheadings. I however think that they should also appeared in the index or table of contents of the books.
The book is presented in a logical sequence. I missed an index of authors at the end.
I read the PDF form of this book. I have not need to access the interface.
The grammar and style make the content of this book accessible to the reader who has not previous knowledge of the subject.
This book is not cultural insensitive. Indeed the introduction addressed the need to recognize different cultural backgrounds when creating online writing activities.
I was attracted to read FOUNDATIONAL PRACTICES OF ONLINE WRITING INSTRUCTION because although I do not teach courses online, I do request at least four writing exercises during a semester that students need to complete and submit online through a platform administrator such as Moodle. After reading the book, I felt motivated to write this review because I found it engaging and helpful to my own teaching practice and the profession. The book provides an introduction to Online Writing Instruction (OWI), where the benefits, challenges and fears of such practice are addressed. I found particular useful the section “Hybrid and Fully-Online OWCS” because it provided me with a set of questions that allowed me to reflect and think of my own practice when I design online writing activities for my courses.
Table of Contents
- Introduction. A Research History of the CCCC OWI Committee, Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew
Part 1. An OWI Primer
- Chapter 1. Grounding Principles of OWI, Beth L. Hewett
- Chapter 2. Hybrid and Fully Online OWI, Jason Snart
- Chapter 3. Asynchronous and Synchronous Modalities, Connie Snyder Mick and Geoffrey Middlebrook
Part 2. OWI Pedagogy and Administrative Decisions
- Chapter 4. Teaching the OWI Course, Scott Warnock
- Chapter 5. Online Writing Labs, Diane Martinez and Leslie Olsen
- Chapter 6. Administrative Decisions for OWI, Deborah Minter
- Chapter 7. Contingent Faculty and OWI, Mahli Mechenbier
Part 3. Practicing Inclusivity in OWI
- Chapter 8. Physical and Learning Disabilities in OWI, Sushil K. Oswal
- Chapter 9. Multilingual Writers and OWI, Susan K. Miller-Cochran
- Chapter 10. Nontraditional Student Access to OWI, Michael W. Gos
Part 4. Faculty and Student Preparation for OWI
- Chapter 11. Faculty Preparation for OWI, Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
- Chapter 12. Faculty Professionalization for OWI, Rich Rice
- Chapter 13. Preparing Students for OWI, Lisa Meloncon and Heidi Harris
- Chapter 14. Preparing for the Rhetoricity of OWI, Kevin Eric DePew
Part 5. New Directions in OWI
- Chapter 15. Teaching Multimodal Assignments in OWI Contexts, Kristine L. Blair
- Chapter 16. OWI on the Go, Rochelle Rodrigo
- Chapter 17. OWI Research Considerations, Christa Ehmann and Beth L. Hewett
- Chapter 18. The Future of OWI, Beth L. Hewett and Scott Warnock
- Author Biographies
About the Book
Foundational Practices of Online Writing Instruction, edited by Beth L. Hewett and Kevin Eric DePew, with associate editors Elif Guler and Robbin Zeff Warner, addresses the questions and decisions that administrators and instructors most need to consider when developing online writing programs and courses. Written by experts in the field (members of the Conference on College Composition and Communication Committee for Effective Practices in OWI and other experts and stakeholders), the contributors to this collection explain the foundations of the recently published (2013) A Position Statement of Principles and Examples Effective Practices for OWI and provide illustrative practical applications. To that end, in every chapter, the authors address issues of inclusive and accessible writing instruction (based upon physical and mental disability, linguistic ability, and socioeconomic challenges) in technology enhanced settings.
The five parts of this book attempt to cover the most important issues relevant to 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. Working from the belief that most writing courses eventually will be mediated online to various degrees, the editors offer principles and practices that will allow this collection to inform future composition theory and praxis. To this end, the editors hope that the guidance provided in this collection will encourage readers to join a conversation about designing OWI practices, contributing to the scholarship about OWI, and reshaping OWI theory.
About the Contributors
Beth L. Hewett is a key leader of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) Committee for Effective Practices in Online Writing Instruction. A college-level educational consultant and writing instructor, Dr. Hewett is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of numerous articles and books, including Reading to Learn and Writing to Teach: Literacy Strategies for Online Writing Instruction, The Online Writing Conference: A Guide for Teachers and Tutors, Preparing Educators for Online Writing Instruction: Principles and Practices, Virtual Collaborative Writing in the Workplace: Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies and Practices, and Technology and English Studies: Innovative Professional Paths. Beyond online writing instruction, Dr. Hewett's interests include using digital technologies to understand the characteristics of college-level writing, the public rhetoric of eulogies, and practical connections between postsecondary writing and the world-at-large. She also writes about grief (Good Words: Memorializing through a Eulogy, More Good Words: Practical Activities for Mourning, and More Good Words: Grief in the Workplace) and works as a bereavement coach and facilitator trainer.
Kevin Eric DePew is an Associate Professor and the Graduate Program Director of Old Dominion University's English Ph.D. program, which has an online component. He has authored and co-authored works about OWI in Computers and Composition, as well as the Handbook of Research on Computer Mediated Communication and Emerging Pedagogies in the Networked Knowledge Society. Dr. DePew's research about OWI is one component of his larger project of designing better writing instruction. Other works examine how to advocate for social justice through writing instruction, how to raise instructors' awareness of effective strategies for teaching multilingual writers, and how to design writing curriculum that encourages students to transfer what they learn in their writing courses to other contexts. He is a current member of the CCCC's Committee for Effective Practices in Online Writing Instruction and the CCCC Committee on Second Language Writing.
Elif Guler is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing at Longwood University, where she teaches courses and conducts research in cultural rhetoric and professional writing. She previously taught both face-to-face and distance education writing courses at Old Dominion University (ODU). She is the recipient of a shining star faculty award from ODU and has co-authored an article on the use of online tools for assessment in the writing classroom.
Robbin Zeff Warner is a Senior Writing Coach at Defend & Publish, LLC, and an educational consultant in OWI. Previously she was an Assistant Professor of Writing, Professional Technology Fellow, and WID Studio Director at George Washington University (GWU). She also is a Teacher Consultant with the Northern Virginia Writing Project. Dr. Warner's interest in online technology was launched in writing the landmark book The Nonprofit Guide to the Internet in 1996 when there were so few nonprofits online one could actually count them. This book initiated a series of books on Internet use for the nonprofit community by John Wiley & Sons. She then wrote the first book on online advertising back in 1997 (Advertising on the Internet), which eventually was translated into six languages. Recently, Dr. Warner lived in Brussels, Belgium, for four years where she studied chocolate making; she is now writing novels that showcase artisan chocolate.