Friday, April 18, 2008

Teaching Internet writing in a recreation and tourism managment course

One of the skills we might consider as part of computer literacy 3.0 is writing for the Internet.

We have also asked whether computer literacy should be spread throughout the curriculum or taught in one or more dedicated core courses

Larry Beck's course Wilderness and the Leisure Experience provides a good example of teaching Internet writing skills as part of a non-dedicated course. Beck provides small groups of students with the rough outline of a report, and they research and write it using a wiki. In doing so, they practice organizing themselves for collaborative writing and learn the mechanics of wiki and image processing software. Beck describes his course here, and you can see examples of student work here.

Beck spends a little time on a simple overview of the mechanics of using the wiki, and the students figure out the rest on their own. Someone in the group can usually help the others with the technology if need be. He gives them general instructions on the report outline and writing process, and requires periodic progress-check meetings with them.

See this presentation for an assessment Beck's experiments. (The writing portion begins with slide 23).

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