An Online Odyssey: A Case Study of Creating and Delivering an Online Writing Course for Undergraduate Students

September 6, 2012


Online courses continue to become increasingly prevalent in higher education. The relationship between computers and writing is natural, as computers are now the primary tool for producing writing. The purpose of this case-study paper is to report on the design, development, and delivery of an online course that was created in response to the identification of a need for effective and efficient delivery of writing instruction to large numbers of university students. The paper describes an online academic writing course that evolved from an elective course enrolling 150 students to a required course enrolling over 2,000 arts and social sciences and engineering students at a mid-sized Canadian university. An account of the history of the course is included, along with discussion regarding institutional and student resistance to the course, technological challenges, use of peer review, cheating, course problems, and course successes. Course effectiveness data are also presented. Suggestions are offered for instructors wishing to create similar online writing courses.

MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching

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