Students searching online for writing help this fall won’t have far to look! The University of Guelph is one of three institutions launching a new website to provide writing advice for students in Ontario and beyond. WriteOnline.ca was developed by writing experts from the University of Guelph, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University to provide post-secondary students and instructors a resource focused on three kinds of academic writing: case study reports, lab reports, and reflective essays. “The intent of these writing guides is to introduce practical strategies that students can use in their own writing,” explains Kim Garwood, manager of the University of Guelph’s Writing Services. Garwood and Steve Risavy, who teaches a number of online and blended courses in the College of Business and Economics’ Executive Programs, worked closely with the Distance Education team at Open Learning and Educational Support to design and develop the guide focused on case study reports.
WriteOnline.ca was funded through the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) Shared Online Course Fund. The fund supports the development of high quality, university degree credit online courses with the intention of enhancing the national and international profile of Ontario as a leader in online education. The goal of this funding is to leverage existing online strengths in the sector and to develop new opportunities for collaboration; improve institutional productivity and the efficient use of resources; provide high quality online learning opportunities for students; and enhance student access and mobility.
Writing instruction on WriteOnline is provided in brief, interactive components, which supports students as they move toward more complex writing projects. Guides can be used to form the foundation for an online or blended course in multiple disciplines (as adapted by faculty); individually as learning objects within courses (integrated by faculty); or for self-directed learning (by students). Examples are provided to help students better understand the format and language used in these types of academic papers, along with several downloadable and form-fillable PDF worksheets to guide students in their writing tasks. A Writing Practice tool also provides guidance to students as they begin writing their drafts online, which can be printed for future use.
By completing the online modules, students will develop strategies for planning, researching, and writing specific academic assignments. They’ll also learn to use sources ethically and express their ideas logically and clearly.
To access the writing modules, visit WriteOnline.ca.