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ENGL 3134 Syllabus

Course Syllabus

ENGL 3134 - Computers, Writing, and Literature

3 Credit Hours

Course Information

Course Description:

What are the connections among computers, writing, and literature? That's the focus of this course--the implications that the Internet and computers have for writing and literacy. Most importantly, how the Internet has changed the way we share the written word.

We will begin by examining a variety of texts available in full or in part on the Internet. We will then use what we learn from the textbook and from our own research to analyze the websites that contain those texts. You will be honing your critical analysis skills. This then leads to the group project where you will collaborate with other students to produce a work that encompasses the effects of the Internet on society in general.

We'll proceed next to the digitized text where you will learn how to spice up an old essay by adding linked information and images to help convey your ideas more clearly and thoroughly. Finally, you will be creating a professional blog or social media page of your own using all the criteria for an effective site that we have considered throughout the class.

You will never look at a webpage the same again!

Course Outcomes:

When students complete this course, they should be able to: 

  • Evaluate websites for accuracy, authority, currency, objectivity, and coverage. 
  • Understand the influence of the Internet and Digital Culture on research interests and everyday lives. 
  • Utilize a larger range of Internet and Digital Tools in the creation of a wide range of documents. 
  • Create an online presence that highlights one's academic and social interests. 
Prerequisites & Co-requisites:

ENGL 1010 and ENGL 1020

Course Topics:
  • Digital humanities
  • Post-literacy
  • Publishing and e-Publishing
  • Strategies for evaluating online content
  • Collaborative work in the online environment
  • Creative communication via the web
  • Web 2.0
  • Blogs and social media
Specific Course Requirements:

Textbooks, Supplementary Materials, Hardware and Software Requirements

Required Textbooks:

Please visit the Virtual Bookstore to obtain textbook information for this course. Move your cursor over the "Books" link in the navigation bar and select "Textbooks & Course Materials." Select your Program, Term, Department, and Course; then select "Submit."

Supplementary Materials:


Hardware and Software Requirements:

Minimum hardware requirements can be found here.

Minimum software requirements can be found here.

Common applications you might need:

Web Resources:

Purdue OWL Online Writing Lab (for APA, MLA, or Chicago style)

The Writing Center Online Writer's Handbook

Student Resources:
  • Technical support information can be found on the TN eCampus Help Desk page.
  • Smarthinking virtual tutoring is available FREE of charge. to access Smarthinking, visit the course homepage and select Smarthinking under Course Resources. You also view sample sessions to see what Smarthinking offers and how it works.
  • Information on other student issues or concerns can be located on the TN eCampus Student Resources page.

Instructor Information

Please see "Instructor Information" in the Getting Started Module for instructor contact information, virtual office hours, and other communication information. You can expect to receive a response from the instructor within 24-48 hours unless notified of extenuating circumstances.

Participation, Assessments, & Grading

Grading Procedures:

Each assignment for this course will be assessed on a five-layer scale; at the end of the term, your portfolio of assignments will be assessed using a similar rubric. The point values for each assignment, and for the final assessment, will be distributed among these five layers (the percent values I've given are based on a 100% scale). Each of you will have a file, in which you'll put your assignments and other materials as instructed--this is your portfolio. Although the individual assignments are explained in detail later in the syllabus, I want to list and explain, here, the five levels of grade that each assignment may receive:

V. Superior: (90%-100%) This is a text that exceeds the requirements for the assignment. The text (and you should know by now that a multimedia presentation--including the oral portion--is a text) meets professional requirements: worthwhile content; sensible organization; readable style; and appropriate design, visuals, and mechanics.

IV. Acceptable: (80%-89%) A text that satisfies most of the requirements for level V, above, or one that satisfies all these requirements but contains a reasonable number of mechanical errors that can be corrected easily.

III. Average/Marginal: (70%-79%) A text that satisfies some of the requirements for level V work, or one that satisfies all the requirements but contains numerous errors that will require extensive correction.

II. Possible/Provisional: (60%-69%) A text that is barely acceptable, but that contains material I feel could be developed--with a lot of work--into a level-V text.

I. Unacceptable: (Less than 60%) A text that needs extensive revision to meet all the requirements of level-V work, or that has the type or amount of mechanical, rhetorical, or design errors that would distract readers. Texts that do not show improvement from first to final draft will also be assigned a level-I grade.

Grading Scale:

Your final grade for the course will be computed using the following scale:

  • 100 - 90 = A
  • 89 - 80 = B
  • 79 - 70 = C
  • 69 - 60 = D
  • Below 60 = F
Assignments and Projects:
You will complete the following modules as the major portion of your work for this course. Each assignment is worth 100 points for a total of 500 points for the course. 
  1. Assessing Online Content: The first module will include selection and reviews of web sites. You will use the handouts concerning web page types and characteristics to evaluate materials as posted in the Assignments area. 100 points total: Discussion 1.3  and 1.4 are 10 points each and the Final Submission is 80 points.
  2. Assessing Literary Online Content: Module Two will include reviews of longer electronic texts. These will be provided by your instructor. 100 points total: Discussion 2.1 and 2.3 are 10 points each and the Final Submission is 80 points.
  3. Blogs, YouTube, and Other New Technologies: In module three, you will work in a group to learn more about new technology and how it affects our interaction with literature. Your group will produce a paper and a presentation. 100 points total: Group Discussion is 15 points, Feedback Discussion is 5 points, Peer Evaluation for Project 10 points, and the Final Submission is 75 points.
  4. Building a Digitized text: Module Four will focus on you updating one of your old previously written essays into a digitized text utilizing technology to make your old essay new and exciting. 100 points total: Discussion 4.3 and 4.4 are worth 10 points each and the Final Submission is worth 80 points.
  5. Building a professional site: For the final module, you will compose and build a professional site using either or a social networking site (see handout for details). You'll critique other students' sites as part of this module, and you'll learn the basics of spacing and design to make your site appealing to prospective employers and others. 100 points total: Discussion 5.1 and 5.2 are worth 5 points each, Discussion 5.3 is worth 10 points, and the Final Submission is worth 80 points.
Interaction is integral to this course. Students must participate in all interactive aspects of the course, including:
  1. Required exchanges of email
  2. Communication as required in the chat room/discussion area
  3. Reviews and critiques of group members' papers

You must be prepared to check the class site at least three times a week, to check for announcements, syllabus changes, discussion area assignments, and other material. READ ALL OF YOUR INSTRUCTIONS THOROUGHLY, and plan ahead for deadlines. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on your instructor's.

Although you may receive regular email from your instructor, reminding you that assignments are due, the responsibility for meeting deadlines is yours. You MUST check the class web site frequently.
Class Participation:
Late Policy:

Course Ground Rules

The following two statements (1., 2.) were derived from the TBR System-wide Student Rules document, released January 2012:


Read the document in its entirety here.

1. Standards of Conduct:

  • Students are required to adhere to the same professional, legal and ethical standards of conduct online as on campus. In addition, students should conform to generally accepted standards of "netiquette" while sending e-mail, posting comments to the discussion board, and while participating in other means of communicating online. Specifically, students should refrain from inappropriate and/or offensive language, comments and actions.

2. Review the TN eCampus Academic Integrity/Academic Honesty Policy:

  • In their academic activities, students are expected to maintain high standards of honesty and integrity. Academic dishonesty is prohibited.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • an attempt by one or more students to use unauthorized information in the taking of an exam
  • to submit as one's own work, themes, reports, drawings, laboratory notes, computer programs, or other products prepared by another person,
  • or to knowingly assist another student in obtaining or using unauthorized materials.

Plagiarism, cheating, and other forms of academic dishonesty are prohibited.

Students guilty of academic misconduct, either directly or indirectly through participation or assistance, are subject to disciplinary action through the regular procedures of the student’s home institution.  Refer to the student handbook provided by your home institution to review the student conduct policy.

In addition to other possible disciplinary sanctions that may be imposed, the instructor has the authority to assign an "F" or zero for an activity or to assign an "F" for the course.

Other Course Rules:

Students are expected to:

  • Participate in all aspects of the course
  • Communicate with other students
  • Learn how to navigate in Brightspace
  • Keep abreast of course announcements
  • Use the assigned course management (Brightspace) email address rather than a personal email address
  • Address technical problems immediately:
  • Observe course netiquette at all times.

Guidelines for Communications


  • Always include a subject line.
  • Remember without facial expressions some comments may be taken the wrong way. Be careful in wording your emails. Use of emoticons might be helpful in some cases.
  • Use standard fonts.
  • Do not send large attachments without permission.
  • Special formatting such as centering, audio messages, tables, html, etc. should be avoided unless necessary to complete an assignment or other communication.
  • Respect the privacy of other class members


  • Review the discussion threads thoroughly before entering the discussion. Be a lurker then a discussant.
  • Try to maintain threads by using the "Reply" button rather starting a new topic.
  • Do not make insulting or inflammatory statements to other members of the discussion group. Be respectful of other’s ideas.
  • Be patient and read the comments of other group members thoroughly before entering your remarks.
  • Be cooperative with group leaders in completing assigned tasks.
  • Be positive and constructive in group discussions.
  • Respond in a thoughtful and timely manner.


The Tennessee Virtual Library is available to all students enrolled in TN eCampus programs and courses. Links to library materials (such as electronic journals, databases, interlibrary loans, digital reserves, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, and librarian support) and Internet resources needed by learners to complete online assignments and as background reading will be included within the course modules. To access the Virtual Library, go to the course homepage and select the Virtual Library link under Course Resources.

Students with Disabilities

Qualified students with disabilities will be provided reasonable and necessary academic accommodations if determined eligible by the appropriate disability services staff at their home institution. Prior to granting disability accommodations in this course, the instructor must receive written verification of a student's eligibility for specific accommodations from the disability services staff at the home institution. It is the student's responsibility to initiate contact with their home institution's disability services staff and to follow the established procedures for having the accommodation notice sent to the instructor.

Syllabus Changes

The instructor reserves the right to make changes as necessary to this syllabus. If changes are necessitated during the term of the course, the instructor will immediately notify students of such changes both by individual email communication and posting both notification and nature of change(s) on the course bulletin board.


The information contained in this syllabus is for general information purposes only. While we endeavor to keep this information up-to-date and accurate, there may be some discrepancies between this syllabus and the one found in your online course. The syllabus of record is the one found in your online course. Please make sure you read the syllabus in your course at the beginning of the semester. Questions regarding course content should be directed to your instructor.

Last Revised on May 9, 2017