All About the Online Creative Writing Course Helpful things you need to know about this course.
Introduce Moodle We are going to be using a Learning Management System called Moodle to do our collaborative creative writing. What is Moodle? It is a private online space (a bit like Facebook and Bebobut more private) where people can exchange information. Moodle is particularly good for teaching and learning because it is designed to be really simple. When you are given an username and password go to http://learn.canterbury.ac.nz and use your username and password to get into the course. You can then update your profile. You can put up your own photo or some other appropriate graphic which says something about you.
Course Expectations We will be working in a “virtual classroom”. Like any classroom we have to have some rules or as I prefer to call them expectations. It is very important that we observe these rules and not be hurtful of other people by bad behaviour in forums/discussions etc. You will have heard of a “footprint”. Well, whatever we do or say online leaves a “digital footprint”. We all need to be aware of this and be respectful of others. I will monitor the forums and discussion areas and will take down anything that is not appropriate. That does not mean you your writing can’t be funny and amusing. I want you to enjoy what you are doing. I guess the best rule might be if you are not comfortable sharing the content with your teacher or parents then don’t use it. On the next page are this virtual classroom rules.
Our Class Rules Be respectful of people and their opinions. Avoid swear words in your writing When you critique work be positive Be respectful when you change someone’s writing Keep to the subject Contribute, don’t just visit and leave the site.
Course Requirements (what you have to do) This course will be fun but at the same time I do want to think that you are learning something. In this case you will be learning about how to write creatively online with other students. To do over 8 weeks of the course. Contribute at least 3 reflections in an online Learning Journal Write a chapter a week to the online story (a chapter will be between 80-100 words) Use a writing rubric to help you improve your writing Use the forum at least twice a week Use a wiki when you are instructed to.
Meanings of some Terms You may be wondering what some of the words I have used mean. I have used words like Moodle, forum and wiki. You may be wondering what they mean but then again I’m sure some of you will know. Moodle I’ve already mentioned Moodle. This name is short for- wait for it- Modular Object Orientated Dynamic Learning Environment. Well, I think it is fairly obvious why it has been shortened to Moodle. Forum A forum is just a place where you can share ideas and thoughts about a topic. There are forum rules and it is very important you keep to the subject. I will direct you in the forum by asking questions or asking for suggestions about the topic. Wiki. You have probably heard of, and even visited Wikipedia, an online encyclopaedia which people all around the world contribute articles. These articles can be changed by other readers. A wiki, therefore, is a sharing space which allows people to contribute ideas.
The Writing Plan The idea for this course is for you to share writingsix(or more!) chapters of an online story. You will be given the first chapter and then you will write a Chapter 2 to follow that one. Then you will be given a partner and you have to re-read Chapter 1, your partner’s Chapter 2 then you write a Chapter 3 and so on. You will be given a new partner for each new chapter. You will need to re-read from Chapter 1 each time so that you keep to the storyline and it makes sense. We will discuss and share on the forum some expectations about the content of the chapters – what is allowed and what is not- after all there will be an audience later on who will want to read your efforts. The next slide has a diagram of what the actual programme will look like. It took some working out.
The writing plan table Chapter 1 written by teacher after discussion with the group Concluding chapter written by teacher and group after discussion Of course where I have got Student A there will be a student name. Imagine Student A is Bob. Well Bob will write his/her Chapter 2 after reading Chapter 1 then later on Bob will write a Chapter 3 after reading Chapter 1, and Student B’s Chapter 2 and so on. Notice how Bob’s name goes diagonally down the chart. This means he/she will get a chance to write every chapter and so will everyone else.
The Tricky Bit! Up to this point I have done a lot of planning and thinking. My head hurts (just a little!) What I have been trying to work out is the best way to set up the writing bit so that you all have access to each others chapters. I am still working on it but watch this space!