The Online Writing Conference: A Guide for Teachers and Tutors

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Overview

Composition is going digital. The number of online writing courses in colleges across the country is increasing each year. How do we best teach writing over the Internet? How must our pedagogy change? Beth Hewett provides real and practical answers.

After years of online teaching and tutoring, Hewett shares her trade secrets and best practices. Grounded in current theory and research, her approach centers on building relationships, solving problems, and working efficiently. The book's problem-centered instruction uses mini-lessons and clear directions so that teachers and tutors can guide students toward improved writing.

Hewett covers a range of core issues, including:

building trust

assessing students' needs

creating effective mini-lessons

crafting helpful instructional messages

formatting comments and modeling key strategies

using time wisely.

The Online Writing Conference also provides a wealth of:

actual one-to-one examples of online conferencing

tutorial transcripts

action plans for teachers and tutors.

Whether new or experienced, whether a teacher, tutor, writing program administrator, or writing center director, you will want this book at your side when your computer screen becomes your classroom.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867096019
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Beth L. Hewett has been an editor, consultant, and teacher at the forefront of online education. Beth has written extensively on both teaching and learning in online environments, addressing audiences in education and business. Currently, she is Chair of the national Conference on College Composition and Communication Committee for Best Practices in Online Writing Instruction.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 Benefits of Online Teacher/Tutor Conferencing 1

What an Online Conference Is 1

Who Conferences Online and Why 2

When and Why Conferencing Online Helps 10

Why Conferencing Online Is Hard to Do Well 11

Chapter 2 Practical Matters 14

The Nature of the Writing Conference 14

Writing Conference Characteristics 16

Identify the Strengths of the Tools 30

Chapter 3 Establishing Trust 37

Creating the Learning Environment 37

Setting Instructional Expectations 47

Helping Students to Set Agendas and Make Choices 50

Connecting with Students 56

Caring for Students 59

Letting Students Care for Us 64

Chapter 4 Theories for Writing Response in Online Settings 71

Responding to Writing 71

Expressivism and OWI 72

Social Construction and OWI 74

Postprocess and OWI 76

Eclectic Approaches and OWI 78

Chapter 5 First Steps for Writing Response in Online Settings 82

Know What You Are Talking About 82

Use Vocabulary Specific to Writing Instruction 86

Write at the Student's Level 88

Choose Desired Outcomes 91

Writing Mini-lessons and Next Steps 97

Chapter 6 The Orneriness of Language 102

What Students Say They Need in Conference-based Commentary 102

Direct and Indirect Speech 106

"I've Got a Secret" (Direct and Indirect Commentary) 112

Chapter 7 Using What Works 120

Engagement 120

Where to Comment 125

Too Much and Too Little Commenting 133

Modeling by Proofing and Editing 137

Addressing Sensitive Issues 139

Chapter 8 Having Effective Conferences 145

Learning from Student Progress 145

Instructional Rubics 145

Interactive Journals 149

Spontaneous or Scheduled Chats 151

Midterm and End-of-Term Surveys 152

Self-Audits 156

Postscript: Toward a Theory of Conference-Based Instruction 159

Appendix 1 A Study of Online Writing Instructor Perceptions 163

Appendix 2 Direct and Indirect Speech in Writing Response 172

Works Cited 181

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