Dr. Sunny Jiang Schultz of Lee College spoke on the topic of “The Byte is Mightier than the Pen” on Friday, March 6, at CCTE’s State of the Profession at UT-Austin’s AT&T Conference Center.
She spent less than twenty minutes talking about her online classes versus her traditional classes for the same course, though she has a significantly longer paper available. However, in that time, she managed to convince me that online courses have great potential to be better composition courses.
She did a comparison of completed assignments between her traditional (f2f) and online (net) classes.
Quiz questions: f2f 83, net 140
Sentence revision: f2f 2, net 4
Summaries: f2f 2, net 4
Elaborations: f2f 1, net 2
Papers: f2f 3, net 3
Short paragraphs: f2f 10, net 50
Library usage: f2f 2, net 10 (through data base accesses for required assignments)
Another aspect of her presentation that I especially appreciated was her discussion of how she works with her students to make sure that they are prepared for and committed to an online course. She provides a week and a half for the students to complete a very detailed online orientation. If they do not finish that, she drops them. If they aren’t committed, they won’t be able to do the course and both they and she will know it right away.
My favorite metaphor from her talk was when she said, “Writing skills are becoming an endangered species.”