Although students work and live in a remix culture, composition pedagogy does not always value the discursive practices of that culture, especially when it comes to producing written work for academic contexts. The reasons for these views are historically determined and tied, at least in part, to relatively traditional notions of authorship and creativity. But “writers” in other contexts, both disciplinary and popular, have developed interesting and useful remix approaches that can aid invention, leverage intellectual and physical resources, and dramatize the social dimensions of composing in this day and age. These approaches, however, ask teachers to reconsider taken-for-granted assumptions about plagiarism and originality.
This article analyzes federal congressional discourse on distance education policy, describing progressive reformers’ use of the term, interactivity. Isolating congressional records of deliberations that treat interactivity, rhetorical analysis first traces progressive legislators’ and educators’ attempts to use the term to eliminate a restriction on financial aid funding for distance education students. Next, critical analysis describes how legislators and educators have advanced interactivity as a simple educational good. Contrasting legislators’ and educators’ views on interactivity with perspectives drawn from emerging computers and composition research, this article discusses what the field has to contribute to public deliberation of this issue. A conclusion notes opportunities for researchers’ participation in progressive reform efforts.
Beginning with a problematic assignment in a “New Media Writing” class, this article demonstrates, first, the significant, perhaps irreconcilable differences in the writing/reading environments of print as opposed to New Media: the interiority, on one hand, of the individual text implied in the “shape” of narratives and other elaborated verbal performances and, on the other hand, the mythic exteriority of networked, information space and the market logic of its “attention economy.” These differences pose a challenge not only to the traditional practices of academic, literary, and professional discourse communities, but to what this article terms “writing culture”—that is, popular cultural practices and assumptions conditioned by the procedures and experience of textual elaboration. Examining student hypertexts, key critical works on New Media, web sites, and literary theory and history, this article suggests a solution to this challenge, arguing that the future development of online writing genres ultimately cannot depend on imposing written shapes on network space. Instead, a close analysis of a hoax from the auction site, eBay, suggests how parody can constitute a lens through which the Web's own generic conventions filter the critical/creative consciousness that has long epitomized writing culture
With the popularity of computer technology, online peer feedback has become common in university writing classes. This paper reports an exploratory study of 22 English as a Second Language (ESL) students’ experiences of online peer feedback in a sheltered credit course at a western-Canadian university. Based on analyses of the electronic feedback (e-feedback) participants received, comparisons of their initial and revised drafts, and follow-up interviews, the study shows that e-feedback, while eliminating the logistical problems of carrying papers around, retains some of the best features of traditional written feedback, including a text-only environment that pushes students to write balanced comments with an awareness of the audience's needs and with an anonymity that allows peers to make critical comments on each others’ writings. However, the participating ESL students expressed little confidence in peer commenting in general. Some shied away from the demand to express and clarify meaning, which turned online peer feedback into a one-way communication process, leaving a high percentage of peer comments not addressed. An intervention of face-to-face class discussion with teacher's guidance to clarify comments in question is suggested to maximize the effect of online peer feedback.
This essay treats the proliferation of online collaboration as a rationale for rethinking human subjects ethics in composition. Specifically, I argue that the Conference on College Composition and Communication's research guidelines for the ethical treatment of students and student writing are grounded in an individualist ethos that is an inadequate frame for researching contemporary writing pedagogy. As a result, teacher-researchers who seek students’ informed consent for participation in a research study may inadvertently encourage students to view their writing as individual property, a vision of authorship not representative of the field's discursive values. As a corrective, I propose that composition scholars develop a guideline for soliciting students’ collaborative consent. In addition to addressing a practical concern regarding the study of collaborative production in virtual and print contexts, collaborative consent has the potential to do important ideological work by sanctioning collaboration and validating students’ extracurricular digital literacies.
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