Required freshman English composition courses at the University of Louisiana
at Monroe have become even more student-centered, thanks to course redesign
and the Write Place, the progressive writing center now utilizing the newest
and most responsive technology approach to freshman composition.
"We patterned our course redesign after NCAT (National Center for Academic
Transformation)'s philosophy on course redesign: sound methodology,
student-centered learning, clear assessment criteria, and effective
technology," said Judy Bennett, director of the First Year Writing Program. "We've redesigned and expanded the writing center so that it is a more
welcoming learning environment for the students."
The technology component of the new course curriculum is mandatory for all
freshman taking English 101 and 102. Instructors will be able to track how
much time and work each student has put into the tutorial. Before
progressing to the next lesson, each student must attain 80 percent
accuracy. The benefit of individual tutorials is more hands on writing in
the classroom. Students spend less time doing grammar drills and more time
The course redesign and new Write Place offer students the opportunity for
flexibility in scheduling and additional tutoring. On their own time,
students can go to the 50-computer lab, where they access the tutorial and
receive instant feedback as they work through the problems. The Write Place
is also equipped for each student¹s learning strength, be it audio, visual
or direct assistance.
The online program is designed "to respond to incorrect answers by giving
students another opportunity, and it frees the instructors up to concentrate
on actual composition. By final drop date, the students will have three
substantial graded compositions. Their grades will reflect their use of the
technology and show them where they are, skill wise." The ability to work at
an individual pace is a valuable component to the online technology.
This new approach to composition also brings uniformity to the required
freshmen composition courses, eliminating the idea that some instructors' classes are easier to take than others. Consistent standards "create a solid
base for strong composition instruction that is also pedagogically sound," Bennett said.
The Write Place, located in the Administration Building, room 3-88, is open
from 8 a.m. 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 8 a.m. noon on
Fridays. "Each instructor volunteers in the lab, so there will always be
someone on hand to give assistance."
For more information, please contact Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 342-5043.