Goodfellow, Robin; Morgan, Michael; Lea, Mary and Pettit, John
(2004). Students' writing in the virtual university: An Investigation into the relation between online discussion and writing for assessment on two Masters courses.
In: Snyder, Ilana and Beavis, Catherine eds.
Doing literacy online: Teaching, learning and playing in an electronic world.
Cresskill, USA: Hampton Press, pp. 25–44.
This paper investigates the ways in which literacy practices are being reconfigured in online university teaching, through an examination of issues around students writing for online discussion, and the assessment of their written work. The authors take an academic literacies perspective on the nature of students' writing online, drawing illustrative examples from a study of two Masters courses at the UK Open University. We argue that the tension between conventional assessment practice and online collaborative learning can best be understood by examining both from the point of view of the rhetorical demands they place on students, and the perceptions of task, audience and compositional strategy that they entail. We conclude that, with the growing use of electronic communication, university literacy practices are likely to be characterised by increasing rhetorical complexity, and that assessment processes will need to adapt by becoming more open to negotiation between learners and institutions.
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