Review: Team-teaching in the virtual writing class

Beasly, Ann «Team-Teaching in the Virtual Writing Class». Kairos 5.1. (2000) <> 4 February 2014.

Beasly and her colleagues use frames to present their experiences after three years of teaching writing classes where students of three different universities collaborate on writing projects via e-mail and chat. The text is mainly descriptive, but references to orther works discussing related problems are given in the discussion towards the end of each page. 

The screen is divided into three frames. At the top is the title of the current page. In the left margin, where one usually finds navigation links (and this was also the norm in 2000), are seven links to background material about the course: Course plans, e-mail excerpts, chat logs, evaluation reports, et cetera. The central column contains the main text of each page.

Skjermbilde 2014-02-04 kl. 10.44.03 Skjermbilde 2014-02-04 kl. 10.54.55

Altogether, the hypertext consists of seven pages. An overview is given in the first page, with hyperlinks to pages elaborating on three questions: Are students learning what they are supposed to? How should one evaluate their products? How can teachers help students to collaborate online? The evaluation page links in a similar way to three pages on different evaluation philosophies. I find that the structure of link as question, destination as answer makes the hypertext easy to figure out, even if there is no overview or map of the pages. Later Kairos essays are quite visual, this is only text, apart from some rather silly small GIF images in the section on evaluation. Colours and type are different on each page, but the layout stays the same.

This essay has typed links. Link with a + sign at the end open pages in a new window. Other links in the text open small excerpts in a little window. These are shorter quotes or examples of e-mail exchanges. Internal links are presented as lists: Each page has links to its sections at the end of the first paragraphs, and links to other pages towards the end of the page. References are listed at the bottom of each page and are not hyperlinked.

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