There will be two types of reading assignments for this class: readings
in the textbooks, readings of your classmates'
work, and reading responses posted to the class discussion forum. The readings
from the textbook will help you understand the demands of a particular type
of writing. Reading your classmates' responses to discussion prompts will
both help you become a sensitive reader of your peers' writing and help you
reflect upon your own approaches to a writing situation. Reading online materials
will be part of the preparation process for class discussion and part of
the research process for certain projects.
There will be two primary types of writing assignments in
- Drafts and revisions of written projects
- Focused writings written as class preparation for writing
and for discussion, and that will include summaries and responses to sample
documents, and online discussions
- As you might expect with a writing class, the written projects
will be the focus of the class. Students in English 130 are expected to produce
documents that range from one to eight pages long. Some of these projects
will involve some research from outside sources.
Since this is an online course, I hope that we can use both
the technology and use of the Internet for business communication themselves
as topics for some of the projects. Many of you, if not most, use the Internet
at work or use the Internet at home for communication purposes. Examining
those purposes and the types of communication in which Internet users engage,
particularly business users, can be very useful for future activities in
business or even in another online course.
Written and visual conventions are important aspects of business
documents. For instance, because of written as well as visual conventions
we can tell that a particular document is a memo and not a formal letter.
And while most business communication students feel that they can recognize
"professional writing style and tone"--whatever that means--the visual aspects
of a document's design are just as readily apparent and definable once we
know what to look for.
So, the formatting and design of your documents will be an
important consideration in this class. Your work will be evaluated according
to both the writing and the visual presentation. This means that you should
be sure to save your work, especially your revised projects, in Rich Text
Format so that formatting will be preserved when you e-mail it to me.
There are two types of online discussion, synchronous and
asynchronous. The former means discussing in real time. Examples of synchronous
discussion are chat rooms and MOOs. The latter means discussing not in real
time. Examples of asynchronous discussion are e-mail, bulletin boards, and
Usenet newsgroups. We will use both synchronous and asynchronous discussion
during the semester.
We will use asynchronous discussion in the form of our course
web site's WebBoard.
We will set up discussion topics dealing with class assignments, projects
in progress, and the like. There will also be a forum for more informal discussion.
We will decide on the use (or not) of synchronous discussion ("chat")sessions
as the semester progresses.
You should expect to spend nearly five hours online per week.
This is not all the time that you will spend doing your classwork; much of
the work, such as drafting and revising documents, composing discussion responses,
and the like can be done offline. Online work will consist of using e-mail
and the class web site. You will spend time online posting discussion responses,
researching, sending e-mail to your classmates and your instructors, and participating
in synchronous and asynchronous discussion.