New Digital Book-in-Progress, Launched This Week, Invites Reader Input

“Web Writing” involves Five-Member Trinity Editorial Team
​HARTFORD, CT, September 17, 2013 – Web Writing: Why and How for Liberal Arts Teaching and Learning, a volume that explores why online writing matters for liberal arts education, had its official launch this week, allowing readers to review its contents using a process known as “open peer review.”

Readers can comment on Web Writing, a digital book-in-progress, now through October 30. The way open peer review works is this: General audiences will join four designated expert reviewers in publicly posting online commentary to shape the direction of the final manuscript, thereby making the traditionally hidden process of peer review more visible and transparent, according to Jack Dougherty, associate professor of education studies.

In addition to Dougherty, who co-edited another open peer-reviewed volume, Writing History in the Digital Age, the members of the Trinity editorial team are Jason B. Jones, director of Educational Technology and a co-editor of ProfHacker, a group blog about technology, pedagogy and productivity in academics that is hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education; Dina Anselmi, associate professor of psychology; Christopher Hager, associate professor of English; and Tennyson O’Donnell, director of the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric and Allan K. Smith Lecturer in English Composition. Anselmi and Hager are co-directors of Trinity’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Based on essays from 25 contributors, Web Writing explores why digital writing matters for undergraduate learning. The book features five sections: communities, engagement, crossing boundaries, citation and annotation, and rethinking our teaching. Essays cover such topics as cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional classroom blogging; code switching and its relation to composition; and public writing and student privacy.

Web Writing is a response to ongoing debates about massive online courses by arguing for the thoughtful integration of web-based authoring, annotation, editing, and publishing tools.

“Thanks to the proliferation of digital tools, almost every semester you can find a new way of implementing a writing assignment. But should you?” asked Hager. “In Web Writing, college teachers have a place to go that not only describes web-based possibilities for student writing, but also explores the pedagogical implications of using them.”

Faculty from a wide range of liberal arts disciplines – including the arts and humanities, social sciences, and lab sciences – have contributed essays. In open peer review, developmental feedback is welcomed to assist in the writing process.

The full manuscript is available online at, and is under contract with Michigan Publishing, the hub of scholarly publishing at the University of Michigan, which will produce the final book in two formats: print-on-demand (for sale) and open-access online (for free). Readers may follow the book’s progress by viewing the Web site’s Comment Activity page, its blog announcements feed or following the Twitter hashtag #WebWritingBook.

The CTL and Trinity’s Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies and provided financial support for this project.

For more information, please contact Dougherty at 860-297-2296 or at:
For a web version with graphics, please visit: