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Example Effective Practices for OWI Principle 2

OWI Principle 2: An online writing course should focus on writing and not on technology orientation or teaching students how to use learning and other technologies.

Effective Practice 2.1: The requirement for the institution’s initial technology orientation should be handled by the institution’s IT unit and not the OWI teacher of any OWC.

Effective Practice 2.2: An OWI teacher should not be considered a technology point person to be held responsible for technical assistance or technology repair. Teaching writing is the key work of the OWI teacher. Therefore, reasonable technical assistance should be available to teachers in person (if onsite) and by phone, email, or instant messaging during all instructional hours. In case of technology failure, teachers should have an alternate lesson plan when the technology cannot be fixed on the spot.

Effective Practice 2.3: Web-based or Web-focused assignments should be about the rhetorical nature of writing for the Web and not about html coding or Web development. To that end, teachers should use transparent software (e.g., WordPress or Dreamhost) so that students focus on learning composition and not on learning technological platforms or software.

Effective Practice 2.4: To maintain the appropriate focus on writing, OWI teachers should be provided professional development in the institution’s technologies sufficiently in advance of a scheduled online course. An example would be to provide such professional development at least one term prior to teaching the first OWC.

Rationale for OWI Principle 2

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