English 627

ENGL 627: Content Challenges in Digital and Online Language Arts

Prerequisites: None

Credits: (3)

This course explores the potential for free access and censorship issues, including legalities and policy challenges, at the intersection of freedom of expression, copyright, and the limited rights of dependent minors in society and in school-based environments.  Learners will develop defensive rationales and prospective proposals for including controversial materials in the curriculum materials in a public school setting.  Additional topics include preventing copyright infringement and plagiarism in online and digital content and compositions.


Detailed Description of Course

ENGL 627 allows teachers, librarians, and administrators to investigate the potential for both internal (student-led) and external (parental or community-based) challenges to possibly controversial content in a digital or online environment.  Participants also explore the nature of open and limited access, including copyright law, as those concerns impact the design, the content, and the administration of online courses and courses heavily dependent upon digital source materials.  Further, the course pursues contemporary options for preventing misuse of online and limited access source materials as those materials are offered to classes by teachers and students alike.  Included in that process are opportunities and options for preventing and responding to plagiarism.  Practical applications include the development of course policy statements and the identification of specific course materials and sources.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 627 offers a variety of learning opportunities through student involvement that may include but are not limited to whole-class threaded discussions, small-group projects carried out through online collaboration, independent and collaborative research, individual reading responses to selections taken from reference texts (responses typically posted as journal entries for further discussion), individualized instructional planning activities for online and traditional delivery, peer editing and review work in threaded discussion spaces, and video and open publishing projects (blog, glog, wiki, vimeo, etc.).  Additional work may include traditional essays with researched content.  Learners will leave the course having learned about free and open access sources, limited access sources, digital copyright, plagiarism identification and response, and how to develop course assignments and sources consistent with legal precedent and good instructional practice.


Goals and Objectives of this Course

Upon completion of this course, students will:

1. Be able to describe the nature of open and limited access in digital domains.

2. Be able to explain digital copyright law in the United States.

3. Be able to identify source materials consistent with digital copyright law for online and digital instructional environments.

4. Be able to describe the nature of intentional and unintentional plagiarism as it occurs in digital and online instructional environments.

5. Be able to explain the instructional value of materials identified as controversial by participants or others aware of course content and sources.

6. Be able to name resources available to support the defense of challenged materials in instructional environments.


Assessment Measures

 ENGL 627 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include but is not limited to:

• writing activities such as readers’ logs, journals and threaded discussions

• examinations on assigned readings

• essays on assigned topics and on student selected topics

• formal, researched essays on assigned or student selected topics

• digital media-based presentations and open publishing products such as blog entries and videos

• short instructional plans designed to address specific topic and audiences in language arts

• longer instructional plans designed to address multiple topics in language arts with an identifiable, shared theme


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

May 15, 2013