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DWC faculty awarded research grant

Grant by Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)

In January 2018, Janine Morris, Ph.D., assistant professor of writing within the NSU CAHSS Department of Writing and Communication, was awarded a Conference on College Composition & Communication (CCCC) Research Initiative Grant. The grant will fund research for her cross-institutional study “Great Expectations: Discovering First-Year Writing Students’ Backgrounds and Assumptions about Online Writing Instruction.”

Janine Morris

The CCCC Research Initiative Grant, which funds projects for researchers in composition and rhetoric, was awarded to Morris and faculty members from University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and Old Dominion University to study how students’ backgrounds shape their expectations of their online writing classes. The study will examine diverse undergraduate student populations, and, specifically, the mix of traditional and nontraditional students online at their respective universities.

“Coming to NSU, I was interested in how the online learning environment here differs from the face-to-face classes I was teaching,” Morris said. “Something that I like about face-to-face classes is that you actually get to talk to students, and so I’m always trying to see how I can do that better online.”

Morris is conducting surveys and leading focus groups with students who are taking online writing courses at NSU. She and her collaborators will be collecting data throughout 2018. They intend to present their findings at the Conference on College Composition and Communication and hope to publish their findings in a book providing recommendations for those teaching composition classes online.

Morris teaches online and face-to-face undergraduate courses in composition, courses for the writing minor, and graduate courses, such as Rhetorical Criticism and Multimodality & Digital Media. She hopes to find solutions to some of the noticeable downfalls of learning through an online platform, she said.

“I think that especially because our department teaches composition courses, this research really impacts what we do immediately,” Morris said. “I think that there’s been a push recently to have more classes online and students want the flexibility of online classes, so it’s really important that we’re making students successful in the online environment.”

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