Evan Davis and Sarah Hardy

Hampden-Sydney College

English and Rhetoric

edavis@hsc.edu, shardy@hsc.edu.

Those of us interested in the effects on student writing of computer technologies —especially email, word processors, and synchronous communication—usually consider those technologies as if they were discrete from one another. But with the rapid rise of course management systems (CMS) like Blackboard and WebCT, students are more likely than ever to enter a virtual space that requires them to move among those technologies. Our essay has two aims: first, to analyze the space of Blackboard with an eye toward the ways that students negotiate its technologies, and second, to provide concrete suggestions for writing teachers whose students inhabit that space.