ERIC Number: ED301276
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jun-30
Reference Count: N/A
Mitchell College: Word Processing within the Freshman English Curriculum.
Goldsmith, Marc; Robertson, Ann
Since spring 1987, Mitchell College has included a computer laboratory component in its basic writing curriculum to teach students word processing skills. The development of the program posed a number of challenges: (1) introducing word processing to all students without revising the curriculum; (2) designing a computer facility that could serve as a teaching classroom; (3) selecting suitable software; (4) ensuring security for machines and software; (5) scheduling; and (6) meeting student and faculty needs. In peak semesters, between 400 and 500 students in basic English courses learn simple word processing functions at the computer lab in three one-hour orientation sessions. After orientation, students are encouraged or assigned to revise their papers and essays in the lab. The word processing component of the composition courses supports skills development in several ways; e.g., correcting is faster and "cleaner"; errors in syntax, logic, and emphasis are easier to visualize on the screen; spell-checking programs help reduce anxiety about writing; and revision assignments can be individualized to each student. In general, students and faculty have responded positively to the computer laboratory. Students feel that the computer makes the writing process interesting and less time-consuming, and some believe it has improved the quality of their writing. Faculty have willingly attending computer workshops and are increasingly involved in the orientation sessions. The program description includes a list of hardware and software available at the computer lab, a diagram of the layout of the facility, and a student handout for the orientation to word processing. (AJL)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Mitchell Coll., New London, CT.