Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department / School


First Advisor

Michael Keller


This study focuses on how computer technology's place in the composition classroom shapes course objectives, instructional methodologies, stud ent writing, and communication. Three advanced composition classes were studied--o ne held in a traditional classroom, one held in a computer-equipped classroom, and one held in a virtual classroom. From the stud ents in these classes, I collected pre- and post-course surveys. In add ition, I examined all student assignments, as well as all electronic communication via the course discussion board and e-mail. The findings of this stud y suggest that the role of computer technology in the classroom does influence the environment, making the focus either more or less student-centered . It also alters the way that students think about and practice the writing process; for instance, students in a traditional setting seem to complete more prewriting and revising than students in computer environments. The most significant difference broug4t about by the role of computer technology is in communication. The stud y suggests that while electronic communication can be beneficial as a supplemental way of exchanging information, its use as the sole means of communication is less effective, less personal, and less rewarding than face-to-face communication.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Technological innovations.
English language -- Computer-assisted instruction.
Report writing -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Technological innovations.
Information technology.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright