The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

online teaching

How effective is Blackboard, the educational technology, for teaching writing? I know that it can work extremely well in content-driven classes, but what about in classes where the subject-matter is a skill: writing? (I know, I know, the content/skills dichotomy in pedagogy isn't really accurate or representative, but let's just use it for now.) I'm thinking about trying it, and the wife encourages me not to just use it halfway but to really use it to its fullest (lest learning Blackboard become another piece of busy work for my students). Has anyone used technology to teach writing to freshmen? how? how well does it work? What are its advantages? What are its drawbacks?


  • At 2:53 PM, Blogger zp said…

    I've used Blackboard. Its a good way to gather and share writing samples and examples - from full length seminar papers to short exercises. It works well with a class discussion about what makes a good thesis statement, say, or whatever element I'm working on.

    I try to keep things anonymous by having them submit the work to me first, then submit it anonymously to share on Blackboard.

    I like to think it becomes an accessible record of my interaction with their writing as a group, and my expectations for a paper. Better than group writing workshop type exercises.

  • At 2:54 PM, Blogger zp said…

    ps. I never think of it as online teaching. It's more a class archive . . . at least, I like to think so.


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