Gail Bennett-Edelman and Julie Freeman, School of Liberal Arts

Principal Investigator: Gail Bennett-Edelman, senior lecturer, Department of English, School of Liberal Arts

Co-principal Investigator: Julie Freeman, senior lecturer, Department of English, School of Liberal Arts

Project Title: Hybrid Version of W231 (Professional Writing)

Funding Level: $2,500

Abstract:

The Writing Program in the English department is endeavoring to serve IU’s new online course initiative by offering more online and hybrid courses. As one of two multi-section, second level Gateway composition courses, English W231 (Professional Writing) has never before been developed into either a hybrid or an online version. W231 teaches professional and collaborative proficiencies and researched writing skills in an applied context to around 950 students each year. W231 poses special challenges to online delivery due to its extensive collaborative components. Nevertheless, this challenge offers us an equally exciting opportunity to draw upon best practices in both the academic and professional worlds to achieve the course’s unique pedagogical purposes via the combination of a face-to-face and virtual environment available in a hybrid course. This grant will allow us to hybridize three sections of our current W231 course, incorporating best practices in blended instruction, and combining effective face-to-face pedagogy with virtual, synchronous, and asynchronous technologies. The course involves an extensive, applied research project team project for a real world business or organization. Students will benefit, not only from the flexible scheduling of the hybrid, but also by developing virtual teamwork skills and electronic collaboration strategies that will serve them well in today’s technologically rich workplace. The grant will enable us to develop a progressive approach to teaching professional writing by migrating appropriate collaborative tasks on line, transforming our students’ learning experience and enriching the teaching of the course. The hybrid model we develop will be transferable to other W231 instructors.