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SCAILAB - Student Computer Aided Instruction Lab
Using DIWE

What is DIWE?

DIWE is an acronym for a suite of programs called Daedelus Integrated Writing Environment. DIWE has several features, though the four which are used most commonly in UIC classes are Invent, Respond, InterChange, and Bibliocite. Invent is used to help students brainstorm and plan for their own writing assignments. With Respond, students are asked a series of questions for use in peer critique. InterChange enables the instructor to create virtual conference rooms where students can have discussions in either small groups or as an entire class. Transcripts of all conferences are automatically stored on the network server and can be printed or saved to a diskette, to be reviewed at any time. Bibliocite uses prompts and a form to help students generate an MLA works cited page.

The technology may look daunting but remember that as long as you can hold a mouse:

You have the power! As INSTRUCTOR you can:

  1. post assignments
  2. create discussion groups
  3. intervene in discussions
  4. close the session to create transcripts

The following provides a useful guide to DIWE's technical aspects as well as some suggestions for ways to make DIWE work for you.

To Log Into DIWE

1. Click on DIWE icon on sidebar or in the Language Tools folder located on your desktop

2. List names> Select your name from list

3. Enter password

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Prepare a Class Assignment to Post to the Class Before It Begins

To Create a New Class Assignment:
1. Go to Utilities\Post Class Assignments.
2. It will ask you if you want to archive a copy of the old assignment. Choose either yes or no. If you choose yes, it will archive the assignment to: N:\diwe5net\CLASSES\Yourname\Docs\Assign\ as a .pgf file].
3. Delete whatever you see in window and type or paste the new information.

To Post the Assignment so the Class Can See It:
1. Once you are done typing your assignment, click on Activity\Class Assignment. You should still see your assignment in the window and you should no longer be able to edit it. Anyone who then logs in as a member of your class will then be able to see the assignment.

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To Use Interchange

1. Click on Activities>InterChange.
2. A new menu bar will appear at the top of the page and if you click InterChange again you can Create Conference.
3. You can create sub-conferences which your students will join. Seasoned instructors swear that seven (7) is the max number of people that can participate in a conference before it becomes unwieldy but 4-5 seems an even better number. You can experiment, but be advised: the larger the group, the greater the chance for mayhem.

Your students might figure out that though they are assigned to a specific group, they can join other groups to pass on extraneous pearls of wisdom. But you know, you can do that too and join another conference to interject and suggest developments.

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To Access Transcripts

First, Save the Transcript:
1. After ALL the students and you have left InterChange (not necessarily DIWE) go to: Utilities\Create InterChange Transcript.
2. Select the conference you would like to create a transcript of (e.g. Green)
3. Click on the Choose button.
4. A Save As window will appear with a default name (which you can change to a different name if you like) for the .txt transcript file that will then be saved to the following directory:

To Locate a Transcript:
1. The path to the transcripts in DIWE is: N:\diwe5net\CLASSES\Yourname\DOCS\CHAT\confdate.txt where confdate is the first four letters Your conference followed by the date it was saved (i.e., Ibsen group on September 25 = ibse0925.txt).

Attention: Conferences named Group1, Group2, Group3, Group4 will overwrite one another since they will save like this: grou0925.txt, grou0925.txt, grou0925.txt, grou0925.txt. Always create conference names where the first four letters are completely different: red, green, yellow, blue, or sex, drugs, rock-roll.

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Suggestions for Using DIWE and Other Resources

In the following sections we provide suggestions for the use of SCAILAB resources according to the established stages of the composition process and in other fields of instruction:

Drafting and Editing
Teaching Literature


The first day of classes is the perfect time to help the student familiarize herself both with her other classmates and the technology of DIWE (Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment), one of our most useful electronic applications.

    • In "Whodunit?" Pat Tyrer presents such a first class-bonding "icebreaking" exercise.
    • Use DIWE's super short-cut BiblioCite feature to profile students through autobibliographies.

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Bibliocite Icebreaker: Autobibliographies
You can use BiblioCite as a heuristic to help class members get to know each other. Ask students to create future bibliographies for themselves.

  1. Open a new BiblioCite file.
  2. List at least five (hypothetical) publications for yourself -- books,
  3. songs, interviews, television screenplays, etc. -- and identify yourself as the author or editor of all five works.
  4. Make a Works Cited page by choosing "Make Works Cited" from the BiblioCite menu.
  5. Cut and paste the new document into a Mail message (or into an InterChange session), and send it to the entire class.
  6. Discuss (in Mail or InterChange) what the bibliographies reveal about you and your classmates.
  7. If you have the time, you might annotate each entry, or write a review" of one of your future publications, listing its strengths and weaknesses, any awards it has won, and what influence it might have on future society, before sharing the bibliography.
  8. To share your Daedalus tips, send them to Susan Meigs at

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A basic tool for Invention is DIWE's series of INVENTION prompts which can be customized to suit your particular inquiry. The prompt protocol requires that you provide at least one word of explanation to the prompt. Newsgroups and listservs are very serviceable in this regard as well, if you prefer an asynchronous response system that you can easily monitor.

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Drafting and Editing

There are a number of ways that students can peer-review essays and then edit them.
  • Students bring in the hard copies of their essays, swap them and students critique these in pairs through DIWE's InterChange RESPOND activity.
  • A good selection of prompts are available and you can also write your own prompts.
  • Students FTP/FETCH their essays,as .txt files, to the class newsgroup or listserv for general survey and specific review.
  • Students contribute review comments re: specific essays asynchronously.
  • Students may conduct a synchronous review through InterChange as they simultaneously view the drafts in e-mail through the miracle of windows.
  • Ten more involved and innovative ways of having students respond
  • Work with STORYSPACE, a remarkable software program geared toward gently guiding writers through the entire PROCESS of writing with emphasis on drafting and revision. In Courseware Review: Storyspace Hypertext Writing Environment Jeannie Crain and her student writers discuss the multiple merits of the application: Storyspace is software that writers in any setting can be enthusiastic about using.

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The most apparent tool for research is the Internet, accessed through Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer. Be sure to advise students on the scope of their research--whether this is to be a library search or a web-wide surfing project. The lack of quality control on the Web may be addressed by integrating a critical component into the research agenda.
  • Ten takes on conducting research with DIWE ( Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment)

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Teaching Literature

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