ERIC Number: ED421697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr
The Cybernetic Writing Program.
Lowe, Kelly Fisher
This paper looks at the role of a Writing Program Administrator, and applies the idea of a cybernetic system to the administration of the program. In this cybernetic model, the Writing Program Administrator (WPA) works as both a problem solver and problem causer, with the responsibility of keeping the program in proper balance. A cybernetic writing program emphasizes the interaction of organisms with an environment; contains an element of purpose or objective; has several control principles which are specifically addressed to the purpose/objective; features multiple lines of feedback, which are related specifically to the interactions; and finally, has a mechanism whereby the feedback gets specifically used to modify any initial acts. The paper describes in detail how the attempt was made to create an environment featuring two important cybernetic concepts: an extensive strategic planning stage, and the allowance for multiple pathways for feedback. It further describes how several cybernetic management functions have been implemented, including "feedback loops," the "limiting of uncertainty," a quick "response to feedback," and the idea of "management by exception." Contains nine references. (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (49th, Chicago, IL, April 1-4, 1998).