navigation index Chapter 1:  Moving Toward Internetworked Writing and Assessment

In “Chapter 1,” Penrod explains how networked writing redefines composition pedagogy and writing assessment.  To highlight principle arguments from Penrod’s chapter, I have presented them in a Question and Answer (Q&A) format below--a succinct, common rhetorical strategy for emphasizing key points in an online format. 

Q: How does networked writing redefine both traditional composition pedagogy and writing assessment?

A: Penrod argues that computer technology redefines writing as a communicative, civic, discourse practice, which may baffle traditional assessment models.  As a result, she explains that compositionists must develop new models to assess students in these public, online environments. For instance, internetworked writing involves multiple genres and redefines literacy in terms of visual, aural, and interactive “writing technologies” (pp. 14, 20). Consequently, networked writing is not easily standardized; for example, assigning traditional letter or number grades for online work, such as asynchronous discussions, may prove inadequate.

Q: What are the risks of networked writing for compositionists and/or their students with regard to “public” writing?

A: Penrod discusses various risks of “new media” writing for writing instructors and their students, such as the “panoptical effect” or the public access of online discourse (10).

Q: How does Penrod’s “salon” metaphor alter the dynamics of the traditional composition classroom?

A: Penrod provides the metaphor of the “writing classroom as salon” for internetworked writing (16).  In the “salon,” all discourse is public and open, which differs from traditional classroom pedagogies that privilege hierarchical discourse among instructors and students (16).