Writing on Writing Online

I teach a feature writing course at Yakima Valley College. It’s currently a fully-online course. As much as I prefer teaching face-to-face, I’m convinced that this writing course is becoming a better course in its online format.

What makes me say that? Because, most generally, my students are becoming better writers. I don’t like to take too much credit, but I do think that the way I’ve organized the online course is a strong indicator of the success of the course.

In the course, there are weekly poems and articles about writing. Students not only write feature articles, but they spend time reading and responding to award-winning feature articles. They practice writing ledes, nut graphs, interviewing, headlines, and query letters. There is a mix of non-graded, short graded assignments, and three major feature articles.

Each quarter it feels like I’m receiving higher quality work than the quarter before. So, something must be working, even if it is online. This makes the work and feedback from my end well worth the effort.

Although it’s working well, I will be making some updates to the course in the near future, adding a few more non-graded examples, and perhaps some visualization exercises.

If you are interested in taking the course, it’s CMST 140 at Yakima Valley College. Maybe, I’ll see you online. – dse

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