Kairos 16.1 (Fall, 2011)

The experience of producing a journal issue, a redesigned website, and supporting documents of the entire process is in itself a marked set of skills which are applicable to real world situations. The class creates a model, summarized by the title of this site: Web Journal As the Writing Classroom. The outcomes of this course, expressed in the student interviews and the documents produced, suggest that previous writing knowledge sets are combined with skills like time management and team interaction.

This combination produces a shift in the understanding of the writing process from an introspective and almost linear production between a writer and an intended audience (or grade) into a collaborative and multiple audience mode. By shifting the emphasis of a traditional writing classroom from producing texts that have a limited audience into group writing project(s) that have many audiences, the students perceive gains outside of “just writing.”

Expressed another way, the greatest strength of this course and of using the web-journal-production environment as the classroom environment is in teaching students skills which are beneficial across disciplines and settings.

We, as a class of writing students, engaged in writing and editing in multiple media — in web languages, for academic accuracy, and for our colleagues. Planning and executing a web-based document that reflects standards of a printed journal and encourages unique formats not only drives the journal in new directions but also its staff — we, the students. Our writing classroom was multidimensional and constantly updated, which helped teach us to be dynamic in our approach to writing and efficient in our documentation of changes.