ERIC Number: ED229791
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Impact of Microcomputers on Composition Students.
To determine whether computer assisted instruction was just a fad or a viable alternative to traditional methods for teaching English composition, a microcomputer was used in a traditional college freshman English course. The class was divided into small groups: some went to the computer lab, while others worked in the classroom. Interactive programs were designed as prewriting activities to structure brainstorming, to force students to think and rethink their topics, and to enable them to see more possibilities for handling their subjects. In response to an informal, general evaluation of the course, 70% of the students indicated that they liked the programs. However, many neither liked it as well as nor found it as helpful as individualized attention from the instructor or small group work. The greatest benefit appeared to be that students worked harder at writing their papers. Teaching difficulties were much more prevalent. Lack of sufficient equipment, inability to obtain a suitable room set up, and equipment breakdown were common complaints. Teachers also encountered logistical and scheduling problems. Based on this experience, the following conclusions were made: (1) the use of the computer will not reduce the amount of work the instructor must do; (2) the microcomputer is a viable alternative to traditional methods for teaching composition--but it is not for everybody; (3) the present form of microcomputer usage is almost certain to change drastically; (4) microcomputer usage could change the present instructional situation, for instance reducing class size; and (5) English instructors should keep an open mind at the possibilities that the computer may offer. (HOD)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (34th, Detroit, MI, March 17-19, 1983).