Principled/digital: Composition's "ethics of attunement" and the writing MOOC

Matthew Overstreet

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    This essay argues that the primary goal of writing instruction should be the cultivation of an ethics of attunement. This is a habit of mind that allows a writer to adapt to the demands of context and therefore engage in successful rhetorical action. The ability to cultivate this habit of mind is the standard by which MOOCs, or any other writing instruction technology, should be judged. Working from this premise, the essay critiques MOOC-based instruction methods. It finds a deep tension between MOOC models and the theories of knowledge, learning and being which underlie contemporary writing pedagogy. This indicates that MOOCs, as they now exist, may be unable to satisfy composition's ethical imperative.

    Original languageBritish English
    Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Writing and Composing in the Age of MOOCs
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781522517191
    StatePublished - 29 Nov 2016


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