Print Volume 22.4 (December 2005)

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Movement in the Interface
— Synne Skjulstad and Andrew Morrison, Intermedia, University of Oslo

Interface design for the Web has received less attention in composition and rhetoric than other areas of computer-based communication. In this paper we introduce the term dynamic interfaces to refer to developments in single screen environments. We see that kinetic interface design involves movement in the interface, through content and via media types. We relate this to a case the BallectroWeb that we developed to report on an educational researchI project with choreography students. We annotate and discuss this interface and its design, composition and communicability. We suggest that developments in dynamic interfaces may be read as part of an ongoing shift from HTML generated web ‘pages’ to emergent and shifting screen spaces in which movement is significant. We refer to the software Macromedia Flash and close by suggesting some of the main features of dynamic interfaces.

Database e-portfolio Systems: A Critical Appraisal
— Miles Kimball, Texas Tech

This article surveys trends in the apparent e-portfolio boom, relating the development of database portfolio systems to portfolio pedagogy. As the market for enterprise-level database systems has grown, portfolio has spread to become a term used to describe systems from assessment initiatives to institutional portals to academic records management tools. After examining materials and demonstration sites, I found that despite sometimes hyperbolic marketing, database portfolio systems have a troubling and mixed relationship to portfolio pedagogy.The article first discusses central concepts—not of portfolios per se, but of portfolio pedagogy. The article then surveys the development of the boom in enterprise database systems and chronicles prominent trends in those systems. Finally, the article makes critical recommendations for realigning database portfolio systems with portfolio pedagogy, and calls for greater involvement of computers and writing scholars in the development of database portfolios.

Teaching Composition Online: Whose Side is Time On?
— David A. Reinheimer, Southeast Missouri State University

Although online education is at times envisioned as a time-saving enterprise, a recent, mostly anecdotal, consensus indicates that, in fact, online education is more labor intensive for the instructor, if not for the student as well. Previous studies both confirm and deny this consensus because they examine different design paradigms that resist comparison. This study compares the workload for a student-centered paradigm in one face-to-face and three online sections of the same composition course and finds that teaching composition online takes almost twice as much time as face-to-face teaching. The major causes of this disparity appear to be hardware and applications, instructional design, and student learner characteristics.

Comparing Grades in Onine and Face-to-Face Writing Courses: Interpersonal Accountability and Institutional Commitment
— David Alan Sapp and James Simon, Fairfield University

In spite of benefits surrounding distance education programs, many online writing courses suffer from low student completion rates. Student retention has been identified in a number of studies of online education. We extend this discussion by examining the relationship of assessment of student work to retention and comparing the grades students receive in online and face-to-face undergraduate writing courses. Our data point to what we call the “thrive or dive” phenomena for student performance in online writing courses, which describes the disproportionately high percentage of students who fail or do not complete online courses compared to conventional, face-to-face courses. We extend this discussion on challenges related to student retention and propose instructional approaches for online learning that include the interpersonal accountability of teachers to students, as well as the institutional commitment necessary to ensure that students can succeed in online writing courses and programs.

Global Dimensions
— Dene Grigar, Texas Woman's University

Abstract Not Provided

Narratives of Digital Life at the trAce Online Writing Center
— Sue Thomas, De Montfort University

This paper examines text-based interactions found on the internet––that is, stories contributors have told about themselves and their everyday lives, specifically The Noon Quilt, Lost, and Home, as well as Migrating Memories,  The Dawn Quilt, and The Road Quilt. All of these sites were developed and managed by the trAce Online Writing Centre between 1998 and 2005.

Keeping with the currency of the print-based journal, Print to Screen focuses on the themes found in the recent issues of Computers and Composition, and includes multimodal commentaries that explore and remediate relationships between print and screen.

Section Editor — Elizabeth Monske

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