This task outlines collaborative writing over a period of several sessions. It aims to help students learn the importance of writing drafts, revising drafts, providing peer feedback as well as practicing specific writing competences.
The example that is given belongs to a larger task sequence between Nursing students and Teaching students who were writing an online newsletter together.
Pre-task 1: Students should be introduced to the tools they will be using for the collaboration. This will include the use of tools for collaborative writing (see suggested resources) and for asynchronous and synchronous discussions (audio and/or written chats)
Pre-task 2: Both teachers present and discuss organization and structure of each newspaper section in class.
Collaborative Task 1: Draft 1
Students are given in-class time to meet with their online partners to divide tasks and begin writing a first draft in the collaborative online tool. Ideally this takes place in an online computer lab. Students will be expected to use multi-modal tools (collaborative document and synchronous communication). In the case that the classes cannot meet during regularly scheduled times; the teachers can provide in-class time to work on the drafts individually or can cancel class to compensate for the online time that will be given during out-of-class hours. (Often teachers do not take into consideration the amount of extra work that online collaboration requires and this can cause resentment and detract from the overall experience).
Collaborative Task 2: Feedback
Drafts are exchanged between groups and each group must meet (synchronously or asynchronously) to decide on 5 -8 points for feedback to provide on the draft.
Collaborative Task 3: Draft 2
Students are given in-class time to meet with their online partners to reflect on the feedback and to continue revising their drafts. Again, this takes place in an online computer lab. Students will be expected to use multi-modal tools (collaborative document and synchronous communication).
The revision and feedback cycle can be repeated as needed and as time allows in the scheduling.
Collaborative Task 4: Galley Proofs
Each group uploads their section (article, editorial, tips, etc.) into an online newsletter template –Word has several free templates which can then be uploaded into any site.
Collaborative Task 5: Final Suggestions
Groups discuss any final suggestions they would make to the other groups’ work (including the offer of images, additional links, etc.) and then give final feedback (a good balance is to ask for 2 positive points for every negative point). These are circulated to the original authors. A deadline is given for a final revision of the newsletter, based on the feedback and then the newsletter is published.