CO302: Writing Online - Course Description
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Prerequisite: CO150: College Composition
CO302 Writing Online focuses on the analysis and production of texts that are written and read only in electronic formats (e.g., hypertexts, sites on the World Wide Web, Internet discussion groups and forums, and electronic mail). In this course, students will explore the rhetorical and cultural contexts in which these texts occur, and learn and practice strategies for producing and interpreting these texts. CO302 will also prepare students to write as members of a society in which increasing amounts of public and social discourse takes place online.
To study online writing, students will
- read online texts including hypertexts, Internet discussion forums, and World Wide Web pages
- read work that provides a critical and/or historical perspective on the technological, cultural and rhetorical nature of online texts (e.g., work by Sherry Turkle, Seymour Papert, Laura Fillmore, Richard Lanham, Nancy Kaplan, Jay David Bolter, Myron Tuman, Mark Stefik, Cynthia Selfe, Neil Postman, Tim Berners Lee, and Sven Birkerts)
- write in and with these technologies so that they will learn first hand about how online writing uniquely calls attention to the rhetorical, technological, and cultural issues that shape its existence.
CO302 requires students to complete five writing assignments:
- a personal essay addressing issues related to writing and reading online, published on the class Web forum (approximately 1000 words in length, or the equivalent of 4 printed pages)
- a critical analysis of an Internet discussion forum (a news group, a mailing list, or a Web forum), published on the class Web forum (approximately 1500 words in length, or the equivalent of 6 printed pages)
- a critical analysis of a Web site, published on the class Web forum (approximately 1500 words in length, or the equivalent of 6 printed pages)
- a personal Web site, published on the class Web site (consisting of at least 15 nodes and links to additional sites on the Web; total words should range from 1500 to 2000 words, depending on the students' goals and the number of nodes)
- a large Web site (at least 75 nodes -- or Web pages, plus links to additional sites on the Web), written in collaboration with other members of the class, for a group or agency in the University, Fort Collins, or larger Colorado community. (We anticipate that this fifth assignment will provide an excellent opportunity for service learning.)
As an intermediate composition course, CO302 assumes complete control of skills developed in CO150 so that students can go well beyond introductory academic writing. Like the other intermediate composition courses offered through English, the course emphasizes (1) writing processes with a special emphasis on revising and editing, and (2) critical reading processes with an emphasis on reading from a writer's point of view.
Methods of Evaluation: This course will be taught using traditional grading. In addition to grades on writing assignments, grades will also be assigned for in-class writing activities (e.g., daily writing activities, peer review workshops), posts to a class Web discussion forum, and out-of-class writing and reading activities (homework). Typically, the course grade will be based on in-class writing and homework assignments (15%), regular participation in discussions of course readings on a Web discussion forum (10%), and formal essays (75%).
Course Syllabus: A sample weekly syllabus for this course is available on this site. Please note that this online syllabus serves as a general model that can be adapted by CO302 instructors. Specific sections of CO302 may use a syllabus that varies from the sample weekly syllabus.