However, the writer develops her argument convincingly with a comprehensive list of reasons and explanatory evidence from her experience.
Kiefer’s main argument is that students who learn writing online lose more than their counterparts in an on-campus classroom. The article begins with a brief discussion on the theoretical and pedagogical foundations based on which the argument of the article is based. According to the author, the main goal of writing classes should be to raise awareness of “writing as a situated communication” (Kiefer, 2007, p.141), which could be best achieved only in a collaborative learning environment involving rich interactions between students. The article draws on the theories of “situatedness of language” and the need to construct “meaning in context” (ibid). Based on such a notion of writing as a process and learning as a communal and shared activity, Kiefer advances her argument.
Kiefer’s theoretical assumptions dictate the goals and nature of writing classes, which she uses as a base to evaluate online writing classes. The argument focuses on the shortcomings of online writing classes she has witnessed in her experience as a teacher in both face-to-face and online classes. The three key features she presents are: “technological impediments, time constraints, attitudes toward education” (Kiefer, 2007, p.151), which she calls as ‘deficits’ that act collectively to deprive online students of the wealth of learning that an on-campus student receives. In terms of the technological features of online classrooms, the article refers to specific examples of widely used computer applications and argues that they do not support the goals of writing courses adequately as such online classroom technology is designed for lectures and not for interactive writing classes. Even if it happens to