Collaborative Writing

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Two recent papers reflect on the act of collaborative writing. In the Communications of the ACM Olenewa, Olson and Russell discuss various strategies used in collaborative writing. Their article is entitled Now That We Can Write Simultaneously, How Do We Use That to Our Advantage. Another paper by Olson et al.  (ACM Trans. Comput.-Hum 2017) How People Write Together Now: Beginning the Investigation with Advanced Undergraduates in a Project Course provides more detail on simultaneus writing in undergraduate work and gives concrete guidelines. The authors summarise as follows (bolded by myself).

„We examined the data traces of collaborative writing behavior in student teams’ use of Google Docs to discover how they are writing together now. We found that student teams write both synchronously and asynchronously, take fluid roles in the writing and editing of the documents, and show a variety of styles of collaborative writing, including writing from scratch, beginning with an outline, pasting in a related example as a template to organize their own writing, and three more. We also found that the document serves as a place where they share a number of things not included in the final document, including links or references to related materials, the assignment requirements from the instructor, and informal discussions to coordinate the collaboration or to structure the document. We computed a number of measures to depict a group’s collaboration behavior and asked external graders to score these documents for quality. We found that the documents that included balanced participation and/or exhibited leadership were judged higher in quality, as were those that were longer.“

author: Ela Pustulka PhD, Bibliothek Informatik

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