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Why Writing Matters

Why Writing Matters in Educational Technology & Development

“The real technology—behind all our other technologies—is language.  It actually creates the world our consciousness lives in.”

~Andrei Codrescu

 

Why Writing Matters in Educational Technology & Development

It has been stated that the advent of technology equals the demise of good writing skills. We believe that the opposite is true. Technology continues to facilitate the written word. With the consideration of word processing, email, or instant messaging, writing skills have an increased use in today’s society.  The issue of communication is essential within the area of technology.  Publishing to an unlimited audience is an easy task with the application of websites, blogs and wikis.  Synchronous and asynchronous discussions are as easily accessed as key resources and research.  Students within the Advanced Educational studies department will consider each while working through varied authentic assessments.  These include research papers, case studies, grant writing, learning objectives, proposals, as well as evidence of collaboration and reflection.

Typical Writing Assignments

  • Learning Objectives
  • Explanations
  • Case Studies
  • Asynchronous Discussions
  • Online Collaborations
  • Proposals
  • Research Papers
  • Reflections
  • Descriptions
  • Instructions

Qualities of Good Writing

Whether in a traditional or an online classroom, the typical qualities of good writing are expected.  In a physical classroom, we ask questions, discuss topics, and share comments.  In the online virtual classroom, you will use your writing skills to communicate with the instructor and with others in the class.  It is also an expectation to write your comments rather than speak them.  The threaded discussion process will allow you to think critically about an issue, respond as an individual, and ultimately engage in constructive dialogue with others.  Think of the discussion space as our "classroom."   Here is a site that explains the qualities of good writing for postings in a discussion: http://distance.wsu.edu/courses/web/WSU/expectations.htm.

Appropriate Types of Evidence & Support

Courses in the Educational Technology & Development degree programs and the NP endorsement in technology may differ in their writing requirements. Be sure to understand the expectations of the course and of your professor.

Citation Conventions

Graduate students in the Department need to use APA format.  Students also need to know how to use technology to help with writing such as citationmachine.net.

Special Comments

Writing for web readers calls for greater conciseness and information fluency.  As people form online communities, they develop protocols for reciprocity, trust, kindness, honesty, accuracy and friendliness.  Accessibility combines usability and emotion, so wise design for diverse learning styles begins with what individual learners already know.  This allows for various paths to achieve relevant learning outcomes.  Because so much of learning has to do with developing authenticity and learning about how we learn, incorporating emerging technologies can encourage the kinds of experimentation that give people greater access to innovation, critical thinking and confident expression.

References and Resources

What Makes a Good Online Student: http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/StudentProfile.asp

The What, How, and Why of Podcasting:
http://www.online.uillinois.edu/oakley/presentations/UIC_16May06.html

Information on the Wiki: 
http://wikieducator.org/WikiEd_Tutorial_Development/Pedagogy_of_the_wiki 

Introduction to Blogs:
http://www.blogbasics.com/blog-tutorial-1-1.php 

Rules of etiquette for the Internet: 
http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html

Faculty Perspectives 
on Writing:

Anne Tapp

Writing in the Age of Technology

Writing in Cultures of Thinking