Forum H.25: Ethical Problems and Consideration in the Electronic Classroom

Bob Whipple, Reporter

Friday, March 29
Conference on College Composition and Communication
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
March 27-30, 1996

The forum was moderated by Michael Cadden of Illinois State University. The participants were Brian Hentz of The University of Oklahoma, Bob Whipple of Creighton University, Robert S. Dornsife of Creighton University, Russ Wiebe of Felician College, and Deborah Martinson of Occidental College.

Hentz's presentation, "Utopian Ideals in an Electronic Age: Ethical Considerations for the Contemporary Technical Writing Classroom," asserted that computer technology has important implications specifically for teachers of technical writing. Hentz asserts that technological fluency is necessary for technical writers to take their proper place in the "discourse community dialectic"--in other words, that technology is the cost of doing business in technical writing. However, ethical considerations arise: How much can we or should we assume that our students know about the technology? How much time--if any at all--should be devoted to the teaching of the technology in the classroom that might take away from other activities? Hentz asserts that there is a fallacy in the assumption that technology by its nature engenders collaborative dialectic and sharing of discourse; different levels of technological ability, he asserts, make this assumption a flawed one.

Evaluating CMC Expanding Composition Teacher Training for Technology Comparing CMC and TV