A mixed mode Writing Clinic was introduced as a teaching and learning development project at the Durban University of Technology in 2006. The theory underpinning the Writing Clinic was developed in doctoral research on written composition within a critical realist orientation, and took the form of theoretical and applied models of written composition. The composition theory thus developed informed the design of a process-based writing tutor program which could be customised by the user to suit various contexts. The theory also offered insight into how/why other interventions (e.g. conferencing) operated, and formed the basis for the inclusion of discussion forums and other online (and offline) resources. This paper will carry out a critical reflection on the process of applying composition theory in actual practice at a recently merged UoT, showing how, in spite of institutional constraints, the modus operandi employed in this project could be seen to cater for composition instruction needs at various levels (i.e. from first year to master’s and even doctoral level). It will also be suggested that the mixed mode Writing Clinic works best when supplemented by a “live” help desk, and will show how the Faculty of Arts & Design at DUT is providing for this facility. It is hoped that reflecting on the operation of this project will offer insights into the practical application of composition theory in order to meet instructional needs of a diverse staff and student body at a multicultural university of technology.
|Keywords:||Composition, Mixed Mode, Courseware, E-Learning, Academic Literacy|
Research Co-ordinator, Faculty of Arts & Design, Durban University of Technology, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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