CamoScroll Image
Navigation Background
Helmet Image
Text Background
Interface Design by Peggy Stanley
Soldier Photo

An Online Composition Course

Page  1  2  3  4  5

My university uses terms rather than traditional semesters. Our terms are nine weeks long. Online courses are expected to provide the same instruction as that of a class on a traditional campus, even though those classes are typically almost twice as long. My university has four brick-and-mortar campuses, and we have less traditional sites around the world. Because we are spread out from Virginia to Vietnam, it is essential that there is a sense of uniformity in our courses. Discipline committees develop a common syllabus for all instructors who are teaching a specific course. As an ENG 1102 instructor, I am allowed the opportunity to determine the literature that my students read, but I am provided with uniform course objectives and requirements for teaching my course.

Because of the need for a quick turnaround on grading, online composition courses are limited to twenty-five students. In my ENG 1102 online courses, students submit a writing assignment every other week. My course uses the Blackboard e-learning platform, so all participant exchanges occur through this system. Students are provided with reading assignments the first of the two weeks for each genre. At the end of the first week, students are given an assignment that encourages them to think more critically about the literary readings. This assignment also guides the students in analyzing the structural aspects of the readings, a task that most students are neither comfortable with nor accustomed to. During the second week students are instructed to write an essay, based on provided topics, and to submit their drafts to their peers in the assigned groups for review. Students may exchange their writing assignments through a designated discussion board area or through email. Once students receive their reviewed writing assignments, they submit them through Blackboard for grading.

Another important aspect of my ENG 1102 courses is the use of the discussion board. Students are assigned a question to consider and discuss based on each writing/reading assignment. Students are required to post an initial response, respond to the postings of their group mates, and then they are also required to revisit that discussion board assignment at least two more times in order to read and respond to others postings. By requiring students to revisit these postings, the group conversations help encourage students to think more critically and also to share their own life and reading experiences.



An Online Composition Course: Execution – 3