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Example Effective Practices for OWI Principle 12

OWI Principle 12: Institutions should foster teacher satisfaction in online writing courses as rigorously as they do for student and programmatic success.

Effective Practice 12.1: Teachers should have the choice of whether to teach in an OWI-based or traditional setting. Institutions should allow for teachers’ preference for teaching in onsite, hybrid, or fully online courses and settings.

Effective Practice 12.2: WPAs should provide adequate training and professional development to all OWI teachers prior to their first OWC teaching experience. (See OWI Principle 7 for more specifics of this practice.)

Effective Practice 12.3: Employment requirements for teaching writing online should be stated clearly when new teachers are hired. Changing requirements should be communicated to all teachers as soon as possible. Individual teachers should have adequate opportunity to discuss with the WPA how any changes relative to OWI may affect their careers.

Effective Practice 12.4: All teachers who do or who might teach using OWI should be educated about the relative benefits and challenges of teaching an OWC in their institutional context, such as:

  • Time required to conduct “in-class activities” when meeting both asynchronously and synchronously.
  • Time required for assessment of student writing (e.g., traditional essays, other writing, and asynchronous discussions) regardless of genre (i.e., formal or informal), modality (i.e., asynchronous or synchronous), or media (i.e., text-based or voice/video).
  • Time required for “office hours” and information about whether these are to be met online, onsite, or both.
  • Time required for formal or informal conferences with students. Typically, OWC teachers should meet students using digital or technology-assisted media (e.g., phone or Skype) in keeping with the nature of the course, although students may request a face-to-face conference with the teacher. Such requests should be accommodated when feasible.
  • Whether teaching an OWC is understood to be equal in time or weight to a traditional onsite course.
  • How teaching OWCs are assessed for job retention, promotion, and tenure.
  • To what degree the institution will be increasing its OWCs and, therefore, its need for more online writing teachers.

Effective Practice 12.5: All teachers who teach or who might teach through OWI should be provided professional OWI-focused materials and encouraged strongly to study these materials prior to and during training and/or teaching in the OWI setting.

Rationale for OWI Principle 12

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