2(3), May 1985, page 11

[conclusion of Reinhart article at top of this page]


David S. Kaufer
Curriculum Development in English

Cheryl Geiser
Data Design, Collection and Analysis

Christine Neuwirth
System Design and Implementation

Preston Covey
Curriculum Development in Philosophy

The Writing Center
Carnegie-MeIlon University

The WARRANT Project represents an interdisciplinary attempt to teach reading, reasoning and writing skills to students on powerful large-screen personal computers, supporting high resolution bit-map display graphics and multiple-windowing. The Writing Center at Carnegie-Mellon University began the project in January of 1985 with funds from a three-year grant by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).

COMPUTERS and COMPOSITION 2(3), May 1985, page 12

The WARRANT Project proceeds on three, highly interactive levels: curriculum development, data collection and analysis, and system design and implementation.


Our curricular goals are tied very closely to William Perry's work. Briefly put, Perry's work has shown that intellectual and ethical development in the post-secondary years is marked by the increasing ability of students to negotiate multiple authorities and, eventually, to learn how to situate themselves amongst these authorities. Our reading/writing curriculum seeks to support this development by teaching critical reading, summarizing, evaluating, the independent representation of issues, and the effective presentation of one's commitments.


At the outset of the project, little was firmly known about the strategies that are most effective for teaching critical reading, reasoning, and writing. To learn more, we decided to gather data at three foci: inexperienced freshmen, experienced philosophers, and a teacher and his students in a course. Each of the three groups of informants works on the same critical task on the topic of paternalism. Our methodologies include think-aloud protocols, elite interviews and participant observation.


The computer system we are developing to deliver the WARRANT curriculum aims for the flexible integration of easy-to-learn tools. The WARRANT t system will provide students with "windows" in which they can work with the seven major components of the system including a syllabus, a read-text window, a plan window, an advice window, and automatic notecard component, a compose-text window, and a peer-commenting window.


WARRANT is scheduled to be ready for pilot testing in freshman courses at Carnegie-Mellon University in the Fall of 1987. It will run on a powerful workstation currently being developed by the Information Technology Center (ITC), a joint project of IBM and CMU. The system software on which it will depend are Berkeley Unix 4.2 and the Andrew system software being developed by the ITC.