E603 – Computers and Composition

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Course Level:

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Description: This course explores the impact of computers and computer networks on writing and the teaching of writing, first by looking at the brief but frantic history of computers in writing instruction. Historical topics include: 

  1. the promise of CAI
  2. development and uses of prompting files/programs, word processing, and style checkers
  3. invention and revision programs
  4. moving from labs to classrooms.

The course also takes up more recent trends and continuing issues in computers and writing instruction, including an examination of hypertext and networked computing.

Throughout the course, discussions focus on practical issues for classroom teachers, as well as the theoretical grounding for current pedagogies. Specific issues that typically recur include technology’s effect on:

  1. authority in the classroom
  2. the roles of writers and readers
  3. writing processes and products
  4. the definition of literacy
  5. the future of writing instruction.