Definitions & Acronyms

dictionarycatEver heard of Daedalus? CIWIC? MBU? You may find that people at the conference use acronyms and terms that you have never heard before, so we have gathered a list of some of the common ones from the past so you can quickly figure out what people are talking about.



  • 7Cs: The CCCC Committee on Computers in Composition.  Advises CCCC on computers and technology in the college classroom, suggests guidelines for tenure and promotion to the CCCC, manages the nominations and judging for the annual Technology Innovator Award, and oversees the calls and site selection for the annual Computers and Writing conference. Kristin Arola and Doug Eyman are the current co-chairs.
  • 7Cs Working Group: A volunteer group who assist the 7Cs with some of its charges in support of the computers and writing community.


  • ACE: Assembly on Computers in English. An NCTE assembly that connects teachers using digital technologies in English language arts and literacy instruction.
  • ACW: Alliance for Computers and Writing. Was a professional association that focused on the interests of the computers and writing field. Some regional ACW groups still exist, but the parent organization is defunct.
  • ACW-L: Alliance for Computers and Writing email discussion list.  No longer exists. Replaced by TechRhet in 2000.
  • AR: Augmented Reality. A technology that augments a real-world view with computer-generated images or similar features. The augmentation overlays the real-world view of the object or person.
  • Asynchronous: Events that are not happening at the same time. Applied to online discussions, such as email, which are not a simultaneous exchange. Contrast with synchronous.


  • Backchannel: Online conversations that take place at or surrounding an event, like a keynote address or conference panel. The conversations typically use a social media tool like Twitter or Facebook status updates to allow those in attendance to discuss the event as it happens. A hashtag is often used to help manage the discussion.
  • BiblioCite: A bibliography manager and citation generator included in the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment (DIWE).
  • Blog: Short for the word weblog. A serial, web-based publication with personal or professional updates and links to resources. Compare to vlog.
  • Born Digital: A text that has been composed and published solely using digital tools. The text was not developed from or a corollary of a paper or other analog version.
  • Bunnies: The cutest animals in the world.


  • C&C: Computers and Composition (a print journal, Elsevier).
  • C&C Online: Computers and Composition Online, an online, webtextual journal that functions as an independent sister-journal to C&C.
  • CCC: College Composition and Communication (a print journal, NCTE).
  • CCC Online: College Composition and Communication Online (aka CCCO). An online database or journal published sporadically by NCTE. Currently defunct.
  • CCCC: Conference on College Composition and Communication (an in-disciplinary division of NCTE). Manages the major, annual conference in rhetoric and composition studies.
  • C&W: Computers and Writing Conference. Hosted annually at a college or university campus. Serves as the major sub-conference for computers-and-composition-related scholars.
  • CIWIC: Computers in Writing-Intensive Classrooms, a professional development workshop that took place each summer at Michigan Tech, from 1985 to 2005. Transitioned to DMAC.
  • CLI: Command Line Interface (e.g., DOS as opposed to Windows). Contrast with GUI.
  • CMC: Computer-Mediated Communication. A field related to computers-and-composition, but which has primary residence in mass communication and media studies. Research in this field often has a quantitative approach and is published in the (print-based) Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, among others.
  • CMS: Course Management System, or Content Management System. Blackboard, for example, is both.
  • CommonSpace: A collaborative writing software program for Mac or Windows that enabled users to edit and to add annotations to a document. Developed by Paul LeBlanc. Discontinued in 2001[?].
  • Computers and Composition Studies: A disciplinary field that studies rhetoric, composition studies, and pedagogy in light of digital (media) technologies (see also: computers and writing, digital rhetoric, digital writing studies). Scholars in this field often read and publish in Computers and Composition.
  • computers and writing: A disciplinary field that studies rhetoric, composition studies, and pedagogy in light of digital (media) technologies (see also: computers and composition studies, digital rhetoric, digital writing studies). Scholars in this field often attend the Computers and Writing conference.
  • Copyleft: A software licensing practice that allows free copying, modifying, and distribution of a program (and often its code), with the restriction that derivative works are shared in the same way (that is, freely and without other restrictions). See the GNU Copyleft page for more details.
  • Creative Commons: A system that works alongside traditional copyright to allow a range of licensing options. Licenses include options that require attribution (BY), that require the work is licensed in the same way (Share Alike, SA), that restrict the work to noncommercial projects (NC), and that exclude derivative use of the work (ND). See About The Licenses, on the Creative Commons site, for more information.


  • Daedalus: The company that created the Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment (DIWE) and produced ancillary software for college and K–12 textbook publishers.
  • DALN: Digital Archives of Literacy Narratives. An online collection of personal literacy narratives, jointly managed by faculty from The Ohio State University and Georgia Southern University. Narratives are submitted by people in a variety of formats, including audio and video.
  • Digital Humanities (DH): A disciplinary field that focuses on the use of digital tools in humanities teaching and research.
  • Digital Rhetoric: A disciplinary field that studies rhetoric and digital (media) technologies (see related: computers and composition studies, computers and writing, digital writing studies). This term came of age around 2006-ish. Scholars in this field often attend CCCC, C&W, RSA, and (less often) MLA.
  • Digital Writing Studies: A disciplinary field that studies rhetoric, composition, and digital (media) technologies (see related: computers and composition studies, computers and writing, digital rhetoric). This term is generally considered to be an updated version of computers-and-composition studies and computers-and-writing studies. It came of age around 2004-ish. Scholars in this field often attend CCCC and C&W.
  • DIWE: The Daedalus Integrated Writing Environment. A local-area network software suite, for DOS, Mac, or Windows, that included a word processor, bibliography manager (BiblioCite), a mail program, and a real-time chat tool (InterChange).
  • DL: Distance Learning.
  • DMAC: Digital Media and Composition Conference, a professional development workshop that takes place each summer at The Ohio State University, from 2006 to present, run by Cynthia Selfe and Scott Lloyd DeWitt.


  • ENFI: Electronic Networks for Interaction (originally English Natural Form Instruction). The first networked chat space, built by Trent Batson and ????, for deaf and hard-of-hearing students to hold class discussions at Gallaudet University. See “The Network-Based Writing Classroom: The ENFI Idea.”
  • Eli Review: An online peer-review system, developed by researchers at Michigan State University. See the Eli Review website for more information.
  • Eportfolio: A web-based record of learning, professional competence, or artistic achievement that includes reflection and (usually) links to outside sources.


  • F2F: Face-to-face communication, where both speakers are in the same geographical location.
  • Flipped Classroom: A teaching strategy where the teacher records videos in lieu of class lectures and presentations and then has the students watch the videos as homework. Class sessions are devoted to applying the principles from the video instruction in individual or group activities, with teacher providing assistance as needed.
  • FPS: First-person shooter. A term for games that are played from the point of view of the main character (the shooter). Contrast to Frames Per Second, which is a photography term for the measurement of the imaging speed of a camera.
  • FYC: First Year Composition.


  • GRN: Graduate Research Network. A free, day-long professional development event preceding the Computers and Writing conference. A place to share current work for graduate students, junior scholars, and first-time conference attendees with other scholars. A similar event occurs at the CCCC Convention.
  • GUI: Graphic User Interface (e.g., Windows as opposed to DOS). Contrast with CLI.


  • Hashtag: A keyword system used on social media sites (like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook). Comprised of a hash symbol (#) plus the word or phrase (e.g., #CWCON). Hashtags cannot include spaces and should not include hyphens (as some systems remove them).
  • HASTAC: Humanities, Arts, Sciences, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory. Pronounced “hay-stack.” A community of teachers, researchers, and organizations that work on collaborative, digital learning projects that transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries.


  • InterChange: A real-time discussion tool that was part of DIWE. Similar to instant messages, but LAN-based.
  • Interversity: A non-profit web- and email-hosting service at run by Eric Crump, which provides free online and email space for non-profit, educational communities such as TechRhet.
  • IRC: Internet Relay Chat.  An Internet-based real-time space where those who log on can interact.
  • ITC: Instructional Technology Committee of NCTE.  Advised NCTE on computers and technology in K–16 classroom. No longer exists.


  • TheJUMP: The Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects.


  • Kairos: A open-access, online journal exploring the issues of teaching, composition, and technology. Established in 1996 by Mick Doherty.


  • LMS: Learning Management System, similar to CMS (see above).
  • Lurkers: Subscribers to electronic forums who rarely or never send contributions to the discussions, content to read what others are writing.


  • MBU-L: Megabyte University. A rhet/comp email discussion list, founded in 1990 by Fred Kemp. No longer exists. Replaced by ACW-L in 1994.
  • Microblog: Serial updates published online, similar to a blog, but extremely limited in length. For example, Twitter is a microblogging platform that limits posts to 140 characters.
  • MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. A term for games that are played in teams or with groups of other players (for example, World of Warcraft or Minecraft).
  • MOO: MUD, Object Oriented.  An Internet-based real-time space where those who log on can interact, build, and program.
  • MOOC: Massively Open Online Course.
  • MUD: Multiple-User Dungeon (or Domain). Another kind of real-time space where those who log on can interact.  Originally used for Dungeons and Dragons adventures.
  • Multimedia: xxx
  • Multimodal: xxx


  • New Media: xxx
  • The Netoric Project: Sponsors of online real-time meetings. Founded in 1992 by Tari Fanderclai and Greg Siering, the Netoric Project hosted weekly Tuesday Café online meetings, first in MediaMOO, then in Connections MOO.
  • Norton Connect: xxx
  • NWP: National Writing Project.
  • NYMG: Not Your Mama’s Gamer, a podcast on issues of feminism, gender, and diverse representation in games and the gaming industry. Started by Samantha Blackmon and Alex Layne in 2011.


  • Open Access:
  • Open Source:
  • Open Textbook:
  • OWI: Online Writing Instruction.
  • OWL: Online Writing Lab, typically an online writing center that presents information using webpages and may offer tutoring using email or online chats. The Purdue OWL was the first, established in 1994.


  • Padlet: xxx
  • Podcast: xxx
  • Prezi: xxx


  • QR Code: Quick-Response Code, a kind of barcode. The code is scanned with a QR Code reader (typically a smartphone or tablet app), and an encoded message is revealed (e.g., a URL). Often used as a simple alternative to typing a URL on a smartphone. Example (the QR code for this site) shown on the right.


  • ReadWriteThink: xxx
  • Remix: xxx
  • RhetNet: xxx


  • SMS: Short Messaging Service, allowing cell phone users to chat using alphanumeric characters.
  • Storify: xxx
  • Synchronous: Events that happen at the same time. Applied to online discussions, such as Hangouts, which are a simultaneous exchange among people. Contrast with asynchronous.


  • Tag Cloud: xxx
  • Tagxedo: xxx
  • Technology Innovator Award: xxx
  • TechRhet: Online email discussion list for people interested in computers and writing.  Started by Kathy Fitch on YahooGroups in 2000. Later transitioned to Interversity, where it is hosted by Eric Crump.
  • TechRhet Barn: Weekly, online real-time discussions of issues from the TechRhet discussion list. Took place on Connections MOO. No longer active.
  • Tuesday Cafe: Weekly, online real-time discussions of technology and teaching. Took place on MediaMOO and Connections MOO. No longer active.
  • Twitter: An online social networking site that allows 140-character updates, known as Tweets.


  • Unconference
  • UI: User Interface.
  • UX: User Experience.


  • Vimeo: xxx
  • Vine: xxx
  • Vlog: A form of blog, published in video format.


  • WAC: Writing Across the Curriculum.
  • WAD: Writing Across the Disciplines.
  • WIDE: Writing in Digital Environments Research Center.
  • Word Cloud: xxx
  • Wordle: xxx


  • XML: xxx


  • Yik Yak: xxx


  • Zotero: xxx



The definitions originally used in the mentoring documents were written by Joyce Locke Carter for the MBU-L FAQ and then revised for the ACW-L FAQ. Traci Gardner revised the entries for use in the 2002 mentoring documents. For this site, additional entries were added and the definitions were updated by Traci Gardner, Michael Day, Cheryl Ball, and John Paul Walter.

Linking [This feature still in development]

You can link directly to a term in the glossary. Each entry is associated with a named anchor, comprised of the entry term in all lowercase letters, with any spaces, ampersands, or hyphens removed. For instance, the term QR Code is associated with the anchor qrcode. The related link to that entry is Note that named anchors cannot begin with a number, so the number 7 is spelled out for the terms 7Cs and 7Cs Working Group (e.g., sevencs).