Your Desktop or Mine: Extending the Reach of Writing Instruction

By Janet Kayfetz, Henning Schulzrinne, Timothy Sherwood and Mohit Tiwari.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Student-teacher conferencing is an integral component of university-level writing instruction and a crucial element in the development of a student writer. The individualized conferencing session not only supplements traditional classroom activities but is the principal mode of mentoring and learning once a class has ended. While the in-person format is the most familiar practice for the writing conference, options for effective remote conferencing between a student and a writing instructor have not been explored. In this paper, we describe how desktop sharing provides a flexible medium for remote, collaborative text editing, and how it preserves the most important characteristics of an in-person conference. Computer Science PhD students who used desktop sharing with their writing instructor over a period of two years found remote editing useful and convenient as long as voice communication was intelligible and stable. We discuss the differences between remote and face-to-face conferencing, and highlight the instructor’s challenges when using a remote editing approach for the mentoring of student writers, especially if student and instructor have no previous shared editing experiences.

Keywords: Technologies for Learning, Writing, Graduate Studies, Curricular Initiative, Distance Learning

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.129-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 3.696MB).

Janet Kayfetz

Lecturer, Department of Computer Science, UC Santa Barbara, CA/Columbia University, Santa Barbara, NY, USA

Janet L. Kayfetz, PhD, is an applied linguist. She developed and teaches graduate-level Academic Writing courses in the Departments of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Columbia University, and the UCSB Materials Department. She also teaches writing and presentation skills to graduate students at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, as well as postdoctoral research scientists and scholars at Columbia Medical School. She has taught linguistics, trained language teachers, developed ESL programs in the US and China, and consulted in speaking and writing with attorneys, hospice volunteers, medical and business professionals, and researchers in a wide range of academic disciplines.

Henning Schulzrinne

Professor, Departments of Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA

Professor Henning Schulzrinne, Levi Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. He was an MTS at AT&T Bell Laboratories and an associate department head at GMD-Fokus (Berlin), before joining the Computer Science and EE departments at Columbia University. He served as chair of Computer Science from 2004 to 2009. Protocols co-developed by Professor Schulzrinne, such as RTP, RTSP and SIP, are now Internet standards, used by almost all Internet telephony and multimedia applications. His research interests include Internet multimedia systems, ubiquitous computing, mobile systems.

Timothy Sherwood

Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Dr. Sherwood is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara. He is the recipient of the 2009 Northrup Grumman Teaching Excellence Award, the NSF Career Award, 4 time winner of IEEE Micro Top Pick Award, Prior to joining UCSB in 2003, he graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from UC Davis (1998), and received his M.S. and Ph.D. from UC San Diego (2003).

Mohit Tiwari

PhD Candidate, Department of Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Mohit Tiwari will complete his PhD in the Department of Computer Science at UC Santa Barbara in June 2011, researching computer architectures and program analyses for security and monitoring. His work includes accelerating heavy-weight program analyses using custom off-chip analysis engines (Best Paper, PACT 2009) and designing verifiably information flow secure architectures (IEEE Micro Top Pick, 2010). Prior to joining UCSB, he graduated with a B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati (2005).