Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Academic writing--Study and teaching, Computer literacy


English Language and Literature


Drawing on survey data from 70 Writing Program Administrators (WPAs), I describe how digital literacy is being theorized and practiced in a broad range of writing programs across the U.S. Because this study offers a glimpse of values and practices across programs with a variety of resources and challenges, the study results— which demonstrate in what ways WPAs value and are integrating digital literacies — can help other WPAs argue for resources, get ideas, defend practices in their own programs, or ensure that students in their programs will receive similar experiences as others across the country. At the same time, while my study showed that many WPAs value digital literacies, it also revealed some areas for further consideration—elements WPAs who are committed to digital literacy may need to focus on more as they more forward with their approaches. As I discuss some areas in which WPA practices do not necessarily align with current values in the field of computers and composition, I offer strategies for adopting best practices in the field while facing some of the challenges with which WPAs contend on a daily basis, such as a lack of resources or stakeholder resistance...

This webtext begins with a brief discussion of the theoretical framework I used for the study. Then, I share details about the survey population. The rest of the webtext presents my findings, characterizing WPAs’ motivations for integrating digital literacy into their programs, the challenges they face in their attempts, and the ways in which they are interpreting digital literacy. I end by discussing the implications of the survey data for writing program administration.


The interactive version of this document is available at the journal's web site.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

Publisher Citation

Sheffield, J. P. (2016). Thinking Beyond Tools: Writing Program Administration and Digital Literacy. Computers and Composition Online, Fall 15 - Fall 16.