Electronic Networks for Interaction (ENFI), 1985-99

An ongoing challenge for teachers of deaf students is to provide a natural environment for writing English. Electronic Networks for Interaction (ENFI), developed by Trent Batson, offered a natural approach to teach writing through written conversation, making English more accessible. ENFI was used in a variety of classroom activities giving opportunity to use writing for communicative purposes without struggling with the language per se.

ENFI soon expanded to learners of all kinds––those in second language classes, remedial classes, advanced academic writers, etc–– at pre-college and college levels. I studied the variety of ways that ENFI was used to teach literacy. This led to the book, Network-based classrooms: Promises and realities.

Joy Kreeft Peyton and I conducted a situated evaluation of ENFI. We found that teachers and students who actually used the educational innovation in a classroom setting recreate it. Analysis of the implementation of ENFI delineated its idealization in terms of its technological features and original visions for its use, and then 16 distinct realizations.

References

Bruce, Bertram C., & Peyton, Joy K. (1999, December). Literacy development in network-based classrooms: Innovation and realizations. International Journal of Educational Technology, 1(2) [ISSN 1327-7308]. Earlier version: Peyton, Joy K., & Bruce, Bertram C. (1994, May). Literacy development in network-based classrooms (Technical Report No. 597). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, Center for the Study of Reading.

Gruber, Sibylle; Bruce, Bertram C.; & Peyton, Joy K. (1995). Collaborative writing in multiple discourse contexts. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 3 (3-4), (Special issue: Computer supported cooperative writing), 247-269.

Bruce, Bertram C., Peyton, Joy Kreeft, & Batson, Trent W. (Eds.). (1993). Network-based classrooms: Promises and realities. New York: Cambridge University Press. [302 pp.; ISBN 0-521-41636-1]

Bruce, Bertram C., & Peyton, Joy K. (1990). A new writing environment and an old culture: A situated evaluation of computer networking to teach writing. Interactive Learning Environments, 1, 171-191. Earlier version: Bruce, Bertram C., & Peyton, Joy K. (1992, October). A situated evaluation of computer networking to teach writing (Technical Report No. 565). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois, Center for the Study of Reading.