quiltlef.gif (8176 bytes) VCCS Litonline Introduction to Literature
English 112 (English Composition II)

Course Overview and Objectives

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Welcome to VCCS Litonline, a writing-intensive World Wide Web-based English 112 (English Composition II), developed for the Virginia Community College System (VCCS). This Commonwealth Course can be used as an introduction to literature or as a composition and research course designed to develop students' critical thinking.  Students in English 112 read, write about, and discuss a variety of works in a variety of situations to enhance their professional and personal reading and communication skills and to prepare them for other academic courses.

VCCS Litonline offers each instructor enough resources for a full version of English 112 for online students or for on-campus or on-site students who can benefit from electronic instructional materials and discussion forums. Many instructors, however, have their students use only one or two of the more than 30 webs at Litonline.  

Many versions of English 112 in the VCCS include an introduction to literature. VCCS Litonline offers introductions to the traditional genre classifications of imaginative literature--fiction, poetry, and drama--because these categories provide a convenient and comprehensible structure for an introductory student in a first-year or second-year course that involves literature.

For their individual classes, professors design a class structure and select works and activities that demonstrate similarities and differences within each form and that allow students to interact within a class as well as to interact with students in other classes. Always check with your professor about the individual requirements for your class.  The Litonline table of contents is here.

To emphasize the universality and diversity of imaginative literature as an expression of ideas and emotions, readings analyzed in the instructional webs include works from various cultures and from differing segments of society as well as from a variety of time periods. These works have been selected both as commonly used  examples of literary art and as reflections of individual, cultural, or critical perspectives.  Litonline was originally designed based on an initial survey of VCCS ENG 112 faculty and common textbooks; the design was updated a few years later to further diversify the readings treated, to include nonfiction, to augment instructional webs and forums with literary criticism, and most recently to support a Commonwealth Course in ENG 112 with Litonline independent of a textbook through a structure that specifies competencies and objectives for every instructional web (module) and page (learning object).

Though designed primarily for use in the Virginia Community College System, the open webs of Litonline have received contributions to forums and generated email from students and teachers in Europe, Asia, Central America, Australia, as well as North America.  Notes from users are welcome at


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English 112 has the following objectives, according to the VCCS course description, as well as the course outline of the host college, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College:

  • To introduce students to short stories, poems, and plays
  • To enhance students' appreciation and understanding of imaginative literature
  • To present strategies and activities to strengthen close and critical reading
  • To offer opportunities to think and write creatively and expressively
  • To offer opportunities to write formal arguments
  • To review scholarly research methods and academic writing conventions

Litonline and other computer-assisted English 112 classes add the following objectives:

  • To encourage collaboration and communication
  • To strengthen skills in computer communication

As part of the composition sequence transferable to colleges and universities, English 112 builds on writing skills students have mastered in first-semester  composition courses, in particular, the following:

  • Clarity and grace of expression
  • Development and explanation of support
  • Unity
  • Coherence
  • Logical organization
  • Accurate documentation
  • Grammatical accuracy

Individual class policies and procedures are identified at class Web sites. See Current Classes for specific details of each.

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top | VCCS Litonline Course Overview and Objectives http://vccslitonline.cc.va.us/vccourse.htm | developed by D. Reiss | modified 08/20/12 by E. Hibbison

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