Thursday, June 12, 2008

What to do?

I am so conflicted and confused. My mind is overflowing with ideas for research projects and I just can't choose. I know I need to focus and direct my reading. In fact that was my plan for the summer but all these ideas keep creeping in.

A top priority for the summer obviously needs to be:

Discourse and Technology: Computers and Writing

as that is the class I'm taking and I have to do a paper for that:

* The first draft, of about 8-10 pages, is due by class time July 24. Awarded 10% of the course grade. Contains a developing argument, prose format (no outline), and preliminary works cited.

* The final draft of 15-20 pages is due by class time July 31. Awarded 30% of the course grade. Contains a developed argument, supported points, works cited.

OK, that's easy enough to focus on as it is also an interest area of mine (which is why I'm taking the class) as I teach online and also my chair is interested in the concept of distributed grading.

So I'm fumbling around with some ideas. At first I was thinking about doing something with building/developing a sense of community as I'm interested in the idea of discourse community but now I'm thinking along the lines of studying the benefits of using technology to teach/support writing. I think this would support the distributed grading concept as well as demonstrate the benefits of using technology to support and teach writing classes (whether f2f or web, synchronous or asynchronous). I'm teaching online this summer so I have a captive audience and probably I could coerce Steve Penn (who is also teaching online this summer) into letting me at least survey his students. If I want to do something along those lines what should I focus on? How do I research this? What background reading do I need to do?

Lots to think about...

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