Strategies[ edit ] Collaborative writing has been the subject of academic research and business for over two decades. According to Lowry et al. Single-author writing occurs when one team member writes as a representative for the entire team. Single-author writing usually occurs when the writing task is simple.
In the first two years, students contributed to a class wiki by summarizing one lecture and editing summaries of several others. In the second two years, students worked in teams of three or four to write a series of illustrated chapters spanning the entire semester.
The second assignment kept students more engaged than the wiki project, and although they found it a significant amount of work, they also believed that it helped them learn the subject matter.
Working in teams, however, was not always a happy experience. I have implemented these concepts in my Neurophysiology course for the last four years by asking students to write illustrated collaborative lecture notes. In the first two years, the assignment was to contribute to a group Wiki by summarizing one class in detail and editing the summaries of several other classes.
In the next two years, students instead used Google Documents in teams of three or four to create a series of illustrated chapters that spanned the entire course. My inspiration for assigning collaborative lecture notes stemmed from three main sources. The goal was to share the work of recording the flood of information they were expected to learn.
Thus, collaborative online work seemed to be a natural for them. The third inspiration was the widespread belief that writing can foster learning in every discipline see the review by Bazerman et al.
Writing to foster learning was not a novel goal for me; my Neurophysiology course has included essay assignments in addition to exams ever since I began teaching it many years ago. Adding a collaborative writing assignment would be an easy extension of what we already were doing.
The course also had a substantial open website with an online lab manual Olivo, and an online video guide to the readings Olivo, ; adding another online component would fit right in. Finally, I had noticed over the years that some of my most diligent students rewrote the notes they took in class, usually pasting in figures from the handouts that I distributed in each class.
Why not give everyone access to detailed illustrated lecture notes? As most people know, wikis are online documents that retain their history, so that as multiple authors and editors work on a document, the text evolves without destroying earlier versions.
It is always possible to read earlier versions, to see which parts were changed from prior versions, and to revert to a previous version if necessary.
Wikipedia is the best-known public wiki, but various sites provide the tools to create closed wikis that are open only to a specified group. Its editing tools resembled a simple word processor, and it was possible to upload files of illustrations from our class handouts that students could incorporate in the text that they wrote.
It promised to be — and was — easy to use. Students were asked to sign up after the first class, and all of them did so easily. The home page also linked each lecture to a blank wiki page which the assigned author would later develop. To prevent chaos in uploading figures into the single file-storage environment that the wiki site offered, I established a naming convention for each figure consisting of the lecture number, the lecture topic, and a sequential letter.
Mousing over a filename in the list showed a thumbnail of the figure Fig.As a result, a course assignment incorporating multiple editing, revision, and feedback opportunities in collaboration with these writing experts was piloted in .
2 Practical Application - Writing a Collaborative Argument Essay This exercise would be organized over a series of classes (series of steps, or assignments), and. Collaborative writing can also be a lot of fun, and, with the growth of webtools for collaboration (not my personal expertise!), it is becoming increasingly popular.
Planning collaboratively Planning is usually an important part of a successful writing process (though ‘free’ writing has its place). Practicing the 21st Century skill of collaboration is one of three practical reasons to plan to use a collaborative writing assignment in grades The Whys and How-tos for Group Writing in All Content Areas.
The collaborative writing assignment to create a series of illustrated chapters in Google Docs.
Later in the semester, the text author’s role (the most substantial task) was . UNA Center for Writing Excellence 1 Although it may be frustrating, certain techniques can make the dreaded group project assignments easier.
Good communication is the key to a successful project. All group members should make sure that they have a clear grasp of what the assignment entails and what is needed from each person.