Forewarned is forearmed: The brave new world of (Creative) Writing online

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Andrew, Martin (2012) Forewarned is forearmed: The brave new world of (Creative) Writing online. Text, 16 (2). ISSN 1327-9556

Abstract

Online Writing courses, including Creative Writing programs, have been delivered in Australia for more than a decade. While most providers of online writing programs offer units in either a flexible or blended transmission model or with a choice of online or face-to-face (F2F) modality, there is pressure on universities to increase the proportion of programs delivered using e-learning. With this trend in mind, I investigate some of the germinal theoretical and pedagogical ideas impacting on the online delivery of Writing in a Master of Arts program taught at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. These concepts include the social constructivist notions of community of practice and imagined community. In narrating my story of developing and teaching units for online delivery, I draw on my empirical studies (2009, 2010) for narratives from tutors and students. Here, their voices become part of my narrative enquiry: their insights inform the story of what I learned from engaging in teaching and learning (Creative) Writing online. I consider the post-structural notion that writers’ identities are motivated by desire, in flux and sites of struggle. This applies to all people enrolling in writers’ programs, whether online or F2F. They are seeking increased agency in their desires to be and become more accomplished writers. It is as important for an online delivery to realise this as a F2F one. I also issue a challenge for (Creative) Writing programs to consider more deeply the pedagogical potential of online workshopping while acknowledging it can only be an emulation of F2F environments. I conclude that for a creative discipline like Writing, course designers and educators need to look beyond schematic social constructivist models of learning where learners experience linear trajectories to one which allow narratives of being and becoming that more fully understand the investment of people enrolling in Writing programs.

Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/22751
Official URL http://www.textjournal.com.au/oct12/andrew.htm
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy
Current > FOR Classification > 2005 Literary Studies
Historical > SEO Classification > 9301 Learner and Learning
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Education
Keywords ResPubID25974, writing education, online pedagogy, community of practice, creative writing, workshopping
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