This article describes the research and development of the Collaborative Online Instructors Network (COIN) to help composition instructors exchange ideas and materials on the teaching of writing. Research was conducted at a large, land-grant university in the Midwest region of the United States and focused on the pedagogical needs of graduate student instructors of composition in the university’s English department. The findings, gathered through surveys and focus groups, suggested that instructors are looking for additional resources to help them prepare for class and develop their teaching methods, and that they are receptive to online venues in particular. From the data collected, the authors designed and implemented a web-based resource consisting of a community forum for facilitating discussions about pedagogical issues and a digital library of materials to allow instructors to share what works well in their classrooms. Such an online resource thus provides an additional site for the professional development of new and veteran instructors, and the curricular development of the program overall.
Article originally published as part of McGraw-Hill’s Teaching Composition Listserv in May 2007. Reprinted with permission.