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Online tools for collaboration, writing, and discussion

October 6, 2011

  • Concetta Ceriello discussed how she and her students in her 300-level expository writing class used Google docs for self-editing, peer-editing, and instructor feedback. Students wrote papers and worked on revising them in class, which was held in a computer lab. Students then submitted their papers to a shared folder on Google docs and gave feedback to their peers using the Google docs comment tool.  Students were given written guidelines for both self-editing and peer-editing.  Concetta used the revision history stored in Google docs to view paper drafts and peer editing comments when grading the final version of the paper.
  • Benjamin Miller teaches the same expository writing class, with a focus on rhetoric scholarship.  Students were given several options for projects that would engage them in process-oriented research and would contribute to the knowledge of the field.  One group of students opted to use to study the writing process.  Riana, one of the students in the class, was present to discuss the group project.  Each student in the group wrote a poem and made three revisions using the tool.  Students worked in pairs to interview each other about their thought process when making specific revisions.  The tool allowed them to view the revisions as they occurred and to chat about them online. also creates a video timeline that can be used to view the entire revision process.  We discussed some of the limitations of this tool and possible alternatives, such as screen recording programs.

    Outline of Ben and Riana's presentation (created on