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Reflective teaching practices in ESL first-year composition courses: examining teacher beliefs and implementation of technology

Description

This study investigates the relationships between ESL teachers' beliefs about writing instruction and their use of computer technology in the first-year composition classroom. Utilizing a sociocultural approach, the study

This study investigates the relationships between ESL teachers' beliefs about writing instruction and their use of computer technology in the first-year composition classroom. Utilizing a sociocultural approach, the study analyzes the connections between ESL teachers' instructional beliefs and the technological practices that emerge as a result of these beliefs and decisions. Qualitative research was conducted, and data was collected through classroom observations, teacher interviews, and course materials. Data analysis reveals that regardless of teachers' differing beliefs about writing instruction, they use computer technology when it enhances their teaching and students' learning. It also reveals that factors such as teacher attitude toward technology and adequate training affect the extent to which they incorporate technology into class.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Building syllabi for online classes: a case study of course management tool use in online composition courses

Description

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed

This study analyzes syllabi for first-year college composition courses and interview responses to examine how the choices made by instructors affect online course design. Using the Syllabus Assessment Instrument designed by Madson, Melchert and Whipp (2004), this dissertation looks specifically at attendance and participation policies, course behavior policies, contact information, required material choices, course organization decisions and tool decisions to reveal how instructors do or do not accommodate online class pedagogies. This study finds that the choices instructors make in syllabus design provide significant information about the overall online course design itself. Using Selber's multiliteracies as a frame for understanding the choices made by instructors, this study finds that instructors focus primarily on functional literacies in their discourses and in the way they communicate their choices to students. Instructors vary in how they inform students of the mechanics of how to interact with tools, how often to interact with the online course, and how to use the tools within the online course. While these aspects of online courses are important, focusing on these aspects of the online course overshadows alternative perspectives on tool use that could encourage critical reflection by both instructors and students. To help instructors and departments design more effective syllabi and courses, this study raises questions and offers observations about how instructors communicate policies and how they understand these policies and pedagogies in online courses. In providing general guidelines for syllabus design and course design, this study will help writing instructors and composition programs better understand the significance of the choices they make in online course design.

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Date Created
  • 2013