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Using online tools to encourage writing and critical thinking

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Uploaded on Aug 25, 2009

Dr. Davidson has her students do writing assignments in class using computers to access the chat, wiki, blog and discussion features of Blackboard. She feels the technology increases collaboration and feedback, and promotes synergy among student writers. The dynamic audience feedback enabled by these tools makes the students more adept at responding to audience needs. In addition, the informal and public nature of the writing forces them to examine assumptions about audience knowledge and to write more broadly. She believes that the technology has faded into the background and the focus is on the writing. Revisions and drafts are easier to submit, grade and provide feedback on in electronic as opposed to paper submissions and plagiarism detection software makes it more likely that the work is unique. Dr. Davidson discusses scoring of blogs, wikis and discussion groups. She is joined by Andrea Doherty who covers the technical details and the relative strengths of the tools used by the writing program. The use of Facebook and other externally hosted applications is also discussed.

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