The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Rhetoric and Writing: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Robert Inkster

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew Barton

Third Advisor

Dr. John Burgeson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

English, writing, education, ESL, ELL, L2


Most first-year college students today are “digital natives.” They have lived with computers and other digital technologies all of their lives, and they have used these technologies as pupils during virtually their entire pre-college education. Does the use of these technologies make these young people better students?

To explore this question further, I will concentrate on the first-year composition classroom and how multi-modal teaching that takes advantage of digital technologies may aid in the acquisition and retention of writing skills. As part of this study, I will also examine whether or not some aspects of writing pedagogy are better taught using more traditional modes of instruction. Based on my experiences as a graduate teaching assistant, a consultant in a writing center, and a former student of both types of classrooms, I believe that I can identify gaps that may exist in both traditional and digital modes of instruction, and suggest how the two modes can complement and enhance each other.