While a graduate student and instructor at Valdosta State, I rarely used e-mail except to read on-going conversations on the various listservs I joined--rarely, though, did I enter the conversations. My collegial relationships were very much real life ones.

Once I left my colleagues at VSU and began teaching and studying for my Ph.D. at Florida State, technology, e-mail in particular, kept me connected to my colleagues, though in virtual space. Initially, I was obsessed with grammar, spelling, and clarity and saw my colleagues as critical readers of my e-mails. Instead of running into their offices for advice about a difficult student or what title my conference paper, I was *writing* to them. But as I crammed my responses in between classes and workshops, I became more interested in getting my ideas out--about classes I'm teaching, possible dissertation topics, conference papers, and less concerned with the formality of writing. My audience and the feedback and support we could give one another became important, not the writing.

I noticed my relationships with my colleagues and my writing/responding style changing as I became engaged with e-mail technology, and I wondered if this mode of response would have a similar effect on peer response in the first year writing classroom. I plan to discuss computer facilitated peer response in the first year writing classroom by examining a first semester writing course at Florida State, a course which I taught in a computerized classroom, as one site where electronic collegiality by distance influenced my work. This is one assignment I hope to bring to the e-list we will be leading before the conference itself.

Presenter: Jennifer S. Ahern


Target Audience: Not Applicable

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