Kiefer, K. (2007). Chapter 8: Do students lose more than they gain in online writing classes? In Joe Lockard and Mark Pegrum (Eds.), Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet (pp. 141-151). New York, NY: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc. The most commonly used classroom support software and online platforms do not facilitate document sharing and review, nor do the information technology management networks always provide sufficient bandwidth to enable reasonably expedient access to blackboard discussion areas, or uploading and downloading of assignments, readings, and completed work. Moreover, students' time constraints exacerbate the inefficiencies of the classroom support software. Although Kiefer encourages her students to strive to work in short bursts or brief blocks of time across the week in order to complete their academic reading and finish assignments, she has found that adult learners are typically unable to achieve this ideal. Indeed, most of Kiefer's students do all of their weekly coursework on Sundays, a day when they can set aside a large block of dedicated time.
Introduce the topic and introduce the author and essay. Then state your thesis.
Writing courses in higher education are increasingly being offered in online environments, right along with many other academic coursework. Opinions about how well this online writing instruction is working vary widely. Kate Kiefer contributed a chapter to the book Brave New Classrooms: Democratic Education and the Internet. As a composition specialist teaching graduate writing theory and undergraduate composition courses, including a course titled Computers and Composition, Kiefer is solidly qualified to provide scholarly commentary on the very field in which she labors. In the early 1980s, Kiefer began a long-standing interest in computers and writing, co-founded and edited Computers and Composition, and -- today -- continues her research and teaching in both physical and virtual computer contexts. Effective Learning and Teaching of Writing and Computers and Composition is a recent publication of Kiefer's. Reviewing Kiefer's article in its entirety, I find myself agreeing with her premise and her examples. An instructor who teaching writing through online and/or hybrid channels faces barriers that intrinsically offer more resistance to efforts to overcome them -- indeed, the barriers are different from those encountered in face-to-face instruction.
Summarize the author's argument or arguments. Your opinion is not included here. You simply summarize the author's points.
Critique the author.
Kiefer's analysis incorporates an evaluation of the barriers and challenges to accomplishing her instructional goals in both conventional real-time and virtual classroom instruction. She fairly admits that some problems feel intractable to an instructor, and may be related more to the attributes of college students than to any particular instructional format or context in which learning occurs. Moreover, Kiefer underscores her belief in the veracity of current writing theory related to the situatedness of language and, though she does not elaborate here, Kiefer bolsters her assertion through reference to the context-bound construction of meaning, as found in perspectives from cultural, sociocognitive, and rhetorical theories. While recognizing that Kiefer presents more deficits in the full text of her chapter, it does seem that the two deficits that are offered for this critique interlock to a degree that makes it difficult to consider them separately. Yet, perhaps that is Kiefer's point: an online writing course is negatively impacted by cascading difficulties.
Evaluate the author's argument or arguments.
Kiefer's presentation of the difficulties imposed by the computer support software does not seem convincingly robust. People working in business…
The most commonly used classroom support software and online platforms do not facilitate document sharing and review, nor do the information technology management networks always provide sufficient bandwidth to enable reasonably expedient access to blackboard discussion areas, or uploading and downloading of assignments, readings, and completed work. Moreover, students' time constraints exacerbate the inefficiencies of the classroom support software. Although Kiefer encourages her students to strive to work in short bursts or brief blocks of time across the week in order to complete their academic reading and finish assignments, she has found that adult learners are typically unable to achieve this ideal. Indeed, most of Kiefer's students do all of their weekly coursework on Sundays, a day when they can set aside a large block of dedicated time.
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