In the Fall 2015 issue of Computers and Composition, Tiffany Bourelle, Andrew Bourelle, and Sherry Rankins-Robertson discuss a pilot program at Arizona State University that incorporates undergraduate instructional assistants into online “mega-sections” of first-year writing in order to decrease costs without diminishing student learning or increasing faculty workload. http://tinyurl.com/pqtv4k2
Forum: Issues About Part-Time and Contingent Faculty, appears in College Composition and Communication twice a year. This Fall’s issue features three essays, by Patricia Davies Pytleski, Natalie M. Dorfeld, and Michelle LaFrance, that discuss, respectively, conversion to tenure-track for contingent faculty; National Adjunct Walkout Day (#NAWD); and the lack of research on contingent labor issues in Writing Across the Curriculum Programs. http://tinyurl.com/qy8rhus
New at College Composition Weekly: In the September College English, Rebecca Tarsa proposes strategies for creating an effective “exordium” for writing classrooms by examining how the digital interface works as an exordium in online participatory sites in which students voluntarily contribute writing. She draws on Teena Carnegie’s work to argue that the interface of an online site meets Cicero’s definition of the exordium as an appeal designed to “make the listener ‘well-disposed, attentive, and receptive’ to the ensuring speech.” In the case of an online site, the interface as exordium accomplishes this goal by “project[ing] to users the potential for interactivity within the site that matches their desired engagement while also supporting the ends of the site itself.” Adopting some features of online interfaces can trigger more voluntary and spontaneous writing in composition classes.
This week at College Composition Weekly: David W. Hartwig, writing in Teaching English in the Two-Year College, argues that students come to college with good “objective” knowledge about what constitutes plagiarism but struggle to identify it in actual passages. He agrees with Rebecca Moore Howard that practices like “patchwriting” are steps toward effective academic discourse; these instances of apparent plagiarism, he argues, measure students’ ability to read and understand complex scholarly writing rather than their honesty. He urges that work on critical reading be coordinated with writing and that faculty across campus share the task of teaching the correct use of sources. http://tinyurl.com/q9aod2l