The book discusses the results of the Transition Study and the New Teachers Study. The Transitions study looked at experienced writing teachers who taught the same introductory writing course, with the same syllabus, readings, and assignment schedule, in two different settings, a computer classroom and a traditional classroom. The two settings pose distinct challenges to teachers, thus leading to the development of distinct strategies to meet the same curricular goals. The New Teachers Study, conducted after the Transitions study, looked at how three GTA's, new to teaching, adjusted to teaching writing for the first time in a computer-networked classroom. The purpose of the New Teachers Study was to focus on the challenges new teachers faced in learning how to teach in computer-networked classroom while learning how to teach a writing course.
The explorations of how the different settings affect the teaching and learning of writing is based on the assumption that our mental models of teaching affect significantly what happens in the classroom (both traditional and computer) as well as how writing teachers adopt their strategies to take better advantage of the benefits that the computer classroom offers.
The analysis of the data from the two studies points to the fact that the teachers tended to let activities develop in a computer-supported classroom rather than trying to orchestrate them the way they did in a traditional classroom. In addition, they tended to allow more time for students writing in a computer classroom as well as more time for student/teacher mini-conferences as opposed to full-class discussions which tended to dominate the traditional classroom.
| studies | theory | practice | transition | technology | benefits of using technology | instruction | setting | students | introduction |