Monday, June 15, 2009

Article: Studies Explore Whether the Internet Makes Students Better Writers (6/15/09)

Emerging findings from the "Stanford Study of Writing," a five-year study of the writing lives of Stanford students, have important implications for how and where written reflection occurs in students' lives and the role of ePortfolios in supporting these activities.

The Chronicle for Higher Education
June 15, 2009

As a student at Stanford University, Mark Otuteye wrote in any medium he could find. He wrote blog posts, slam poetry, to-do lists, teaching guides, e-mail and Facebook messages, diary entries, short stories. He wrote a poem in computer code, and he wrote a computer program that helped him catalog all the things he had written. But Mr. Otuteye hated writing academic papers. Although he had vague dreams of becoming an English professor, he saw academic writing as a "soulless exercise" that felt like "jumping through hoops." When given a writing assignment in class, he says, he would usually adopt a personal tone and more or less ignore the prompt. "I got away with it," says Mr. Otuteye, who graduated from Stanford in 2006. "Most of the time." The rise of online media has helped raise a new generation of college students who write far more, and in more-diverse forms, than their predecessors did. But the implications of the shift are hotly debated, both for the future of students' writing and for the college curriculum.

From The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

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