Composition In The Computer Classroom
Outline and Demonstration
John Stenzel

(Originally given mid-1990's, occasionally still resurrected)


I. Introduction 
    A. changing role of computers
        1. number-crunching-->word-processing-->communications
    B. CAI Classrooms at UC Davis
    C. CAI in "regular" composition classes and beyond
II. Why use computer / network  to teach writing?
    A. Can clearly emphasize phases of writing process
        1. Prewriting / Freewriting "invention" routines
        2. Drafting
        3. Re-vision
        4. Editing
        5. Polishing
    B. Makes reworking--the craft of writing--easier and more likely
    C. Makes demonstrations more effective 
        1. Overhead--displaying material on instructor's Mac
        2. Timbuktu / Apple Network Assistant--sharing a particular student's screen
    D. Can increase participation in discussions
        1. Daedalus Interchange / WebChat and the written discussion
            a. "Everyone can talk at once"
            b. Transcript of discussion as content for development
    E. Eases paper flow inside the classroom and out
        1. Changes the kind of exercise a teacher can assign
        2. Can turn in / pick up papers in whenever labs are open
    F. Can create a sense of writing community
        1. Plus side: more like a work situation with collaboration / teams
        2. Minus side: can lose students to e-mail, web surfing etc.
    G. Via Internet, extends the class beyond the official time limitation
        1. Electronic mail / class listservs
            a. Instructor makes announcements / assignments
            b. Students submit questions, comments, draft theses
                (1) Office hour freed from time and space restrictions
                (2) Student can compose / edit question
                (3) Instructor can tailor follow-ups
            c. Archives can aid in recordkeeping
            d. Facilitates submissions / participation from home
        2. Newsgroups or "class bulletin boards"
            a. Discussion continues outside of class
            b. Participation clear and accountable
            c. Students have bigger stake in class, help shape content
        3. Library,  World Wide Web
            a. On-line information retrieval from UC and other library systems
            b. Information retrieval & exploration
                (1) The general store / back fence of the global village
                (2) New venue for disseminating class information & updates
                (3) Enhanced global library
            c. Instructor creates class Home Page
                (1) Students can create sub-pages 
                (2) Synthesis outside the essay format
                       (a) Can lead to wasted time and effort
                       (b) Can facilitate ghastly amounts of plagiarism

III. Demonstration [As time allows]
    A. Join the InterChange / chat conference called "A Comp Demo"
    B. Sentence-level revision using classroom network
        1. Examine sentence "ingredients": clause / phrase / word
        2. Identify verbal noun forms
        3. Identify agent or "doer" of action
        4. Compose improved version, evaluate and revise
        5. Send improved version to group space
        6. Evaluate others' attempts and try a different structure
    C. Follow-up
        1. Instructor saves day's transcript, distributes to students
        2. Students select examples, submit comments on newsgroup

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