The computer, the writer, and the learner
Computers are gradually infiltrating all stages of the writing process. Increasingly, teachers, writers, students, software developers, technical authors, and computer scientists need to learn more about the effective use of computers for writing. This book discusses how computers can help support writing. It explores the issues associated with using computers to train and help writers, concentrating on computational and user aspects and reviewing practical, economic and institutional issues. Noel Williams balances theoretical and practical concerns, to meet the needs of researchers and practising trainers of writing. There is also a brief evaluation available software products, together with advice about the major considerations and pitfalls of working on custom-made software. The book is based on five years of research by the Communication and Information Research Group (CIRG) at Sheffield City Polytechnic into the value of computer-based approaches to training and helping writers. The work was funded and supported by the Training Agency, IBM, AT&T, Rolls Royce, NAB and GEC. The Computer, the Writer and the Learner is for people who are using, or are thinking of using, computers to teach or support writing, and for designers of computer-based writing systems. Many such people are unaware of the nature and use of existing systems, and of the possibilities they offer. Developers often lack detailed knowledge of other projects and of the range of users' needs. Although the bias of the book is towards the teacher, trainer and student, most of the content deals with issues that developers will want to know about.
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