Composition and communication in an online environment
McGrath, Laura Lynn
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Over the course of two academic years (fall 2001 through spring 2003), the author taught online sections of English composition at the University of Georgia and collected data in the form of questionnaires, beginning and end-of-the-year surveys, e-mails, student writing assignments, and chat log transcripts. Although a considerable amount of research exists on the subject of computers and writing, few scholars have studied completely online composition courses. This dissertation, which examines the author’s own research as well as scholarship published by others in the field, explores the ways in which computer-mediated communication and Internet technologies affect class discussions, writing, responses to writing, and research in a completely online composition classroom. The author concludes that online composition courses offer a viable alternative to face-to-face instruction. Although the virtual classroom has its limitations and additional research needs to be conducted, virtual writing courses can offer real benefits to participants by emphasizing the importance of student voices and providing increased opportunities for responsible, active participation.