Posts Tagged ‘Collaboration’

Horizontal divider

Why Write…Together?

posted: 12.8.11 by Andrea Lunsford

Lisa Ede and I asked this question almost thirty years ago in an essay of the same name, and we’ve been trying to answer it ever since, trying to persuade the academy in general and our departments in particular that writing is thoroughly social, that even sitting alone at our computers we are writing “with” all the voices and texts in our heads and at the tip of our fingertips on screen, that all writing is collaborative writing.

For decades we thought our message would never be heard. Especially in the humanities, scholars (and teachers) still resist collaboration and collaborative writing, and the so-called single-authored article/book is still the gold standard for tenure and promotion.  Students also resist collaborative writing, since they’ve been implicitly taught to be suspicious of others who might “steal” their ideas.

But then came the digital age and Web 2.0, with its participatory, collaborative, distributed ways of working.  Perhaps the time has come, we’ve thought (and hoped).  And indeed, those studying and writing about new media and new literacies invariably note the necessity, the inevitability, of collaboration.  If we live another decade, perhaps we’ll see collaborative grades given routinely, collaborative dissertations valued, collaborative teamwork the norm, even in the humanities.

We can always hope!  In the meantime, thanks to Bedford/St Martins, we are celebrating our own thirty years of collaboration and collaborative writing with the publication of Writing Together: Collaboration in Theory and Practice. [read more]

Comments Off on Why Write…Together?
Categories: Collaboration, Professional Development & Service
Read All Andrea Lunsford

Horizontal divider

Students as Resources

posted: 1.26.11 by Nedra Reynolds

In my last post I wrote about what bibliographies are for and how they can serve the needs of writing teachers.  Similarly, of course, textbooks, articles, Web sites, and an increasingly vast array of technologies provide resources, too, as well as blog conversations like these on Bits.

Colleagues, in particular, have long been an important resource for me. In addition to the informal contact (quick conversations in the hallway!), I’ve also participated in a Teaching Fellows program on my campus, which gives me a fix of teacher talk—something I miss from graduate school, where my friends and I, none of us veterans, spent hours talking about teaching. Now that I am a veteran, I still love sharing syllabi or assignments and comparing notes about students we have in common. But these days, rather than just talking about students with other teachers, I’m going straight to the source and am talking directly with students about teaching practices, ideas that I have, or what we should try next. I’ve come to trust students more than I used to; I am more likely to ask for their feedback or advice, to let them write the questions or preview the assignment or coach each other.  Generally, they have not let me down, and as another spring semester begins, I will continue to use students as a resource for my teaching, as much as they will let me.

On one level, it’s relatively easy or risk-free to listen to students or to ask for their input. I’ve long let students choose which of their written products will be graded or to vote on reading selections or to choose their own groups. But now I’m trying to put more faith in students’ desire to learn and their ability to be responsible participants in the teaching and learning relationship. I’m trying to be completely transparent, for one thing, by sharing why I’ve made certain choices or decisions in the syllabus or what skills a specific activity is targeting. [read more]

Comments Off on Students as Resources
Categories: Collaboration, Peer Review
Read All Nedra Reynolds

Horizontal divider

Write for Wikipedia

posted: 2.15.08 by Barclay Barrios

As an exercise in collaborative writing and as a way to have students deepen their understanding of a text, have your class work collaboratively to propose, update, or modify an entry about the current essay or author for Wikipedia. If your handbook has information on collaboration, you might first ask students to read that section. You can also use this as an opportunity to discuss plagiarism—why is it OK to collaborate on this kind of writing but not on a paper? You can broaden the conversation to include the role of Wikipedia in academic research and writing.

Comments Off on Write for Wikipedia
Categories: Assignment Idea, Collaboration, Plagiarism, Popular Culture, Teaching with Technology
Read All Barclay Barrios