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Online Support for Students' Writing Skills Development in a Technical Communication Introductory Module

Online Support for Students' Writing Skills Development in a Technical Communication Introductory Module
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Author(s): Yvonne Cleary (University of Limerick, Ireland)
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 14
Source title: Critical Design and Effective Tools for E-Learning in Higher Education: Theory into Practice
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Roisin Donnelly (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland), Jen Harvey (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland) and Kevin O'Rourke (Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-879-1.ch017

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Abstract

This chapter explores the development of online support for writing skills in one technical communication module taught at the University of Limerick. It demonstrates the need for writing support by exploring the many complexities of teaching and learning writing skills. Central to the discussion is the principle of process, rather than product, orientation. Students on the module have been surveyed over the past two years to determine their attitudes to, and perceptions of, their writing strengths and weaknesses. The chapter outlines and exemplifies the types of writing-problems students and instructors identify. Online support is posited as an intervention which facilitates autonomous learning. The chapter concludes by discussing how online resources, and especially the university virtual learning environment, Sakai (called Sulis at University of Limerick), can support students. It also suggests related research opportunities, especially in the area of using Web 2.0 technologies to foster autonomy.

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