English 652

ENGL 652: Advanced Teaching Writing in a Digital Age

Prerequisites: None

Credit Hours: (3)

This course  offers experienced writing teachers (classroom-based or online) an opportunity to migrate those skills to an explicitly digital domain of blogs, glogs, graphic illustration, video production, social media, e-publications, and other less traditional avenues of expression.  Students will design a full six weeks-length publication project for a public school age audience at the primary, middle, or secondary level.  Emphasis will be placed on writing for varying discourse communities and in varying discourse styles, dependent upon format and audience expectations, and in alignment with contemporary needs for flexible responsiveness in successful communicative acts of composition.


Detailed Description of Course

ENGL 652 explores the nature of composing (drafting, editing, revising, publishing) for electronic formats, for contemporary audiences with varying expectations of what constitutes a text, and for digital environments involving limited text and video-mediated compositions and presentations.  The topics to be considered and addressed will include the dynamics of facilitating composition work for those already attuned to social media, online role-playing engagements, discussion boards and blogosphere environments, and the realities of gaming scripts as textual publications.  Additional attention will be paid to the use of digital devices as communicative vehicles for those unable or unwilling to speak as a result of physical or cognitive impairment.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

ENGL 652 offers a variety of learning opportunities which may include but are not limited to student involvement in 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 writing instruction 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.  The intent is to encourage a thoughtful and reflective—but application-based—understanding of the opportunities offered by digital or online writing instruction utilizing the full range of digital composition formats available to instructors today.  Additional attention will be devoted to the opportunities such formats and devices offer exceptional and diverse language users in classrooms and society.


Goals and Objectives of this Course

Upon completion of this course, successful graduate students in Advanced Teaching Writing in a Digital Age will:

1. Be able to explain the strengths and limitations of composing in a purely digital domain.

2. Be able to identify specific formats and devices appropriate for users with specific exceptionalities (e.g., autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, etc.).

3. Be able to identify multiple digital and online discourse communities connected thematically or by format or host.

4. Know the specific strategies and interventions of writing instruction that have shown research-based results in enhancing students’ communicative competence.

5. Be able to explain the purpose and intent of multiple, process-oriented activities useful to students of various ages and abilities as they write for varying audiences and domains of contextually appropriate usage.

6. Be competent to independently research and evaluate research findings related to topics in writing instruction.


Assessment Measures

ENGL 652 uses a variety of assessment measures, which may include but is not limited to  the following:

• 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, and including practicum-based implementation of those plans

• 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