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The Coventry Online Writing Lab (COWL) Project

The COWL (Coventry Online Writing Laboratory) project is funded by JISC as part of the...

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Lisa Ganobcsik-Williams
8 July 2010

The COWL (Coventry Online Writing Laboratory) project is funded by JISC as part of the ‘Transforming Curriculum Delivery Through Technology Programme’.

The project’s overall aim is to evaluate current online writing support, both at Coventry University and elsewhere, and to develop a comprehensive, integrated platform of technologically enhanced writing support mechanisms to be trialled at Coventry University and disseminated for further evaluation and use at other UK HEIs.

It builds on the successful work of the Centre for Academic Writing (CAW) at Coventry University, which provides academic writing support to students at all study levels. Currently, CAW pedagogy and delivery is predominately face-to-face and conducted in individual and small group sessions. Whilst students value this approach greatly it has two major drawbacks. Firstly, it is not scalable, and, secondly, it disenfranchises students who do not visit the campus on a regular basis.

The COWL project will harness learning and teaching technologies to overcome these two issues, not by developing new software tools, but by building on tools already generated by other JISC projects and elsewhere.

COWL will not replace CAW, but rather become the online component of CAW’s work, to ultimately create a seamless blended learning environment which students can access and benefit from according to their preferences and circumstances.

The implementation will be across all appropriate areas of CAW’s work.  The following three maps/models illustrate the route that the COWL project will take in enhancing curriculum delivery at the Centre for Academic Writing (CAW).

The CAW Model of writing support:

Projected COWL Enhancements to the CAW Model of writing support:

COWL Future-Gaze Model:             

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