The Mediation of Literacy Education and Correspondence Composition Courses at UNC-Chapel Hill, 1912-1924

Wooten, Courtney Adams
October 2013
Composition Studies;Fall2013, Vol. 41 Issue 2, p40
Academic Journal
Tracing the correspondence composition courses taught at the University of North Carolina--Chapel Hill from 1912 to 1924, this essay argues that examining distance education in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries can reveal possible problems or solutions to issues composition instructors face in twenty-first-century debates about moving first-year composition courses online, particularly in rapidly developing Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). his essay develops a theory of literacy mediation built on Deborah Brandt's notion of literacy sponsorship, claiming that more attention needs to be paid to how literacies are mediated by institutions, particularly when institutions support composition instruction that occurs of-campus as in distance education. Writing programs need to ensure that face-to-face and online students receive comparable instruction and that all students, regardless of the spaces in which they take composition courses, understand the institutional and programmatic values of composition on their physical or virtual campuses.


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