Composing Identity in Online Instructional Contexts

Composing Identity in Online Instructional Contexts

Kevin Eric DePew (Old Dominion University, USA)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch016
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Abstract

As writing instruction moves from the defined spatial and temporal parameters of the traditional classroom to various degrees of online interaction—from explanatory e-mails to courseware mediated distance education—instructors have had to reconceptualize how they identify themselves to their student audience. While many instructors have tried to translate their face-to-face strategies to the digital medium with disparate degrees of success, others understand the different parameters digital media offer and see new opportunities for literally composing their instructional identity. This contribution will examine the strategies instructors have used to compose their identities with computer-mediated communications and propose suggestions for negotiating this process.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Composition Applications: Computer applications that have traditionally been considered as tools for composing stand alone texts, such as programs in the Microsoft Office Suite, Web authoring programs, and visual editing programs.

Instructional Identity: This is the identity that an instructor presents to her or his students inside and outside the classroom; composing and presenting one’s instructional identity is an act of persuasion and, therefore, requires rhetorical strategies.

Computer-Mediated Communication Applications: Traditionally these have been computer applications that are directly networked to each other and facilitate both synchronous (e-mail, bulletin boards) and asynchronous (MOOs/MUDs, instant messaging) communication.

Default Whiteness: The assumption that the interlocutor one interacts with in online spaces is white; this assumption is reified by the taboo of idenitifying race and ethnicity in certain online environments.

Instructional Identity: This is the identity that an instructor presents to her or his students inside and outside the classroom; composing and presenting one’s instructional identity is an act of persuasion and, therefore, requires rhetorical strategies.

Computer-Mediated Communication Applications: Traditionally these have been computer applications that are directly networked to each other and facilitate both synchronous (e-mail, bulletin boards) and asynchronous (MOOs/MUDs, instant messaging) communication.

Default Whiteness: The assumption that the interlocutor one interacts with in online spaces is white; this assumption is reified by the taboo of idenitifying race and ethnicity in certain online environments.

Wiki Textbook: A textbook that the students compose—based upon assigned topics—early in the term using wiki applications; throughout the latter part of the term, students learn the course content by reading, editing and rating their peers’ entries.

Digital Composition Applications: Computer applications that have traditionally been considered as tools for composing stand alone texts, such as programs in the Microsoft Office Suite, Web authoring programs, and visual editing programs.

Wiki Textbook: A textbook that the students compose—based upon assigned topics—early in the term using wiki applications; throughout the latter part of the term, students learn the course content by reading, editing and rating their peers’ entries.

Hybrid Classroom: A classroom in which some interaction is conducted face-to-face and some interactions is computer-mediated; as more DC and CMC applications get developed and as institutions see more need for pedagogical flexibility, there are becoming many different formulas for combining face-to-face interaction with computer-mediated interaction.

Online Classroom: A classroom that has no face-to-face component; all interaction between the students and the instructor—both synchronous and asynchronous—is conducted using a combination of CMC and DC applications.

Online Classroom: A classroom that has no face-to-face component; all interaction between the students and the instructor—both synchronous and asynchronous—is conducted using a combination of CMC and DC applications.

Hybrid Classroom: A classroom in which some interaction is conducted face-to-face and some interactions is computer-mediated; as more DC and CMC applications get developed and as institutions see more need for pedagogical flexibility, there are becoming many different formulas for combining face-to-face interaction with computer-mediated interaction.

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