Virginia Montecino 

English 302 Advanced Composition

Computer-mediated Advanced Composition Overview and Expectations

Welcome to the computer-mediated distance learning section of English 302. This class is a lot of work and can also be a lot of fun. A composition class lends itself well to computer-mediated communication. I am convinced that a community of writers connected via computer-mediated communication can have a rewarding and exciting learning experience. Electronic correspondence is a hybrid of verbal communication and written communication, so in our web-based discussions and in our private class e-mail we will be communicating through writing - perfect for a composition class. You will also share your writing with each other (peer response to drafts is required) via attached files in e-mail or on your Web pages. Flexibility and self-discipline will be the key to a successful experience. In this distance learning section we will meet for the first two classes in a computer lab on campus and once at the end of the semester (unless you are a non local student) We will NOT meet regularly in a traditional classroom. 

This is a writing intensive, research intensive advanced writing course. If you have not taken courses in your major you will not be ready to take this class. You will be picking subjects in your major to write about; therefore, not having some background in your major will be a decided disadvantage. 

This class will not be less work than a traditional class, and will require a great deal of self-discipline to keep on schedule. But the good news is you have more flexibility about when to do your work and when to meet electronically with your writing response groups and with me. You may revise all assignments up to the point you turn in your final portfolio. Feel free to confer with me about your work, electronically or in person (by appointment). 

I will not accept work in your portfolio for which I have not seen the "footprints" during the class. This means that your work must go through the peer review process, then must be commented on by me. If your work is turned in past the deadline for submission to me, I must still see your work-in-progress, but feel no obligation to comment on it. You can revise all work until the final portfolio submission day. I will not accept late portfolios. I must okay the topics for your work - all work must be current - not work previously done for other classes. 

Discussion mediums: We will meet regularly via our web-based discussion forum (which will weigh heavily in your participation grade). Private e-mail will be used for housekeeping, and other messages not appropriate to broadcast in a public forum. Please observe etiquette and good manners in discussions. Tone and intent are harder to get across in electronic mediums. I expect correspondence and web-based material to conform to "good taste." Good taste, I agree, may be relative, but we can have a discussion about this and argue the point if the need arises. I certainly don't want to restrict discussion. There is a place for us to have fun in our discussions and explore "sticky" issues, without violating etiquette or violating university computing policy. Course material posted on your Web pages should also follow "good taste" guidelines and observe copyright rules. Bottom line is I get to set the limits for my class. This issue rarely has to be addressed - a tribute to the caliber of students in this course. 

Portfolio grade: Your body of written work, including your Web project will get one grade. Class participation will also be graded. Participation includes regular participation in discussions; prompt, on-time submission of drafts; prompt responses to your group members' drafts; participation in group Internet Project; responsiveness to my e-mail messages asking for updates on your progress with your work; and responsiveness to your group members e-mail. It is important for us to have a truly interactive, community of writers, who respond to each others work and engage in academic discussions. It is also important for class members who are more technologically-oriented to be willing to share their expertise with the rest of us. A community balances strengths and weaknesses to help all members do their best. 

Sending your course work to me and your peer response group: You can post your papers and your final portfolio on your course web page or turn in a hard copy. If you use the Web publishing option, please be sure that all of the components of your course work are linked to the "page" and are working. If you don't want to make your course web page public, don't post the address on the web. Give it to me and your group members in private. Give me the address of your web page in time for me to check it out before you submit the documents you create. You should have a copy of all of your course work (on disk and in print). If your work gets "lost" in the on-line submission process, I am not responsible. Be sure you have a copy to resubmit. Don't wait until the last minute. 

Do not post the Writing Culture interview on your Web page without that person's permission. If you are a non-local student, you can send me the interview via e-mail. If you don't want to make your course web page public, don't post the address on the web. Give it to me and your group members in private. Mail me the documents you critiqued if you are not a local student. If the documents are not published work, let the author know you will be giving me a copy. You will be liable if you post someone else's work on your Web page without his or her permission.

Finally - I really enjoy teaching this class and hope you find it a rewarding, challenging experience. 

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