Beginning in fall 2014, the University of Arizona launched a pilot initiative to offer online first-year writing courses. We are working with a growing cohort of instructors in the University Writing Program to develop greater leadership and expertise in first-year composition in digital and face-to-face environments. The instructors participate in professional development during the school year and summer focusing on adapting their knowledge of teaching, pedagogy, and research composition towards online and hybrid courses.
At the institutional level, distance and hybrid learning at the U of A incorporates course development guidelines dicated by the Quality Matters rubric. At the departmental level, the OWI inititative utilizes Quality Matters alongside the Position Statement of Principles and Example Effective Practices for Online Writing Instruction. This Position Statement is a commonly used paradigm that was created by one of the leading associations in the field of rhetoric and composition, the Conference on College Composition and Communication.