Online is the worst possible way to help out basic writers. Almost no one tries
it, although there has been some discussion of teaching basic writing online on
the Tech-Rhet list.
Your idea of a link between writing instruction and work that the students are
doing in another course is really good. We've found that our linked (and
discipline specific) courses have resulted in happier students, and of course,
Whatever you do, try to avoid the "remedial" label for any follow-up courses.
The work "developmental" is better, and describes what they are doing--
developing as writers (and thinkers).
Sorry this is so scattered-- I'm trying to get out the door and pack for my next
trip. It's a bit trying to just get back from one thing and have to go to
another. (And this time, I have to get my seven-year-old ready to come with
Let us know what happens with this. I'm sure others will come up with more
"Littman, Victoria" wrote:
> This is a call for help. I'll try to be brief. First, thanks to all who
> attended Inkshed; it was a terrific conference this year. I came away
> refreshed and excited about this field and really appreciate all those
> Inkshedded comments.
> Now for my dilemma.
> Current dilemma: Administration anticipates admitting a sizable chunk of
> folks who will need remedial help. I haven't been given numbers; it could
> be 20-50 (but I'm guessing?) At an upper management meeting, they decided I
> could solve this "problem" by giving them a remedial class. There was some
> talk at that meeting of giving me more financial support to do this. Now,
> top administrators' plan is to run the remedial class through a third party
> on-line class.
> My current position: I think the on-line idea is not too promising for a
> variety of reasons.
> My current alternative: Set up a strong collaboration between the Writing
> Centre and the Foundation class that includes in-lecture, short workshops on
> targeted subjects and strongly encouraged dedicated drop-in hours at the
> Writing Centre. Do a brief and early assessment in the form of an
> integrated class assignment to identify those in need and to urge them to
> use the writing Centre.
> Students who fail the first semester of this course will have to take the
> remedial course.
> This avoids the segregation until students "need it to pass" and it gets
> more writing instruction and tutorials to more students with less stigma.
> Anybody with thoughts, criticism, hints, rationales, info. and/or statistics
> that will help me talk to administrators, would be most appreciated.
> Victoria Littman
> Writing & Learning Counsellor, OCAD
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> the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at
To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
[log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]
For the list archives and information about the organization,
the annual conference, and publications, go to the Inkshed Web site at