Tools and Techniques for Teaching Writing Online

Prepared for the Australian Adult Learning Conference
November 20, 2004
Elizabeth Hanson-Smith

This discussion revolves around free online tools; however, many course management systems, such as Moodle (free if used on your own server) or Blackboard include most of these capabilities.

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Elizabeth Hanson-Smith--

Academic Writing Yahoo Group:

  • A place to archive resources, references, Hot Potatoes exercises, etc.
  • A place for students to discuss each other's paper topics

Buthaina al Othman--

Online syllabus

  • Accessible anywhere, anytime


Buthaina al Othman--

EfS 162 Summer - Writing Assignment Blog

  • Students free-write, formulate ideas, form groups and discuss goals and task-sharing
  • Teacher or peer editors can comment on ideas or form


Aiden Yeh--

Discussion Forum:

[This particular page is NO LONGER AVAILABLE; however, phpBB is a free online forum--there are many others, including those like WiZiQ that have live audio/video conferencing capabilities.]
  • A controversial question which can be debated live or on a BB
  • Virtual paper conferencing with live chat

Aiden Yeh--

Wiki for students to comment on each other's papers:

[Google Docs has emerged as a powerful tool for collaborative editing]
  • Any number of people can comment on a paper--in this example,  mostly on the sentence level, but could lead to larger discussions (see blogs, above)
  • Teacher can comment on or correct paper


Buthaina al Othman--

Student Webproject - Marine Life in Kuwait

  • Student groups create a presentation--may include PowerPoint, Webpage, or both
  • Use of multi-media and electronic + live oral skills in an authentic-like task


Dafne González--

Student Self-Evaluation

  • Self-evaluation may be formative or summative (at the end of the course)
  • Raise level of student awareness about their own  critical thinking and learning skills


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Webpage by Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith, last update 21 April 2013