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Tools for collaborative student projects

February 21, 2013

Online tools such as wikis provide an opportunity for us to expand how we think about collaborative student projects and also bring their own set of challenges.  In this session, we will discuss several examples of group projects and the tools used to support them, addressing questions such as how to:

  • prepare students to participate in online collaborative projects
  • facilitate interaction while students are working on their projects
  • help students share their projects with other groups
  • grade collaborative projects

Jeff Allred will discuss a group project in which students use the WordPress plug-in to produce and publish annotated editions of T. S. Eliot's long poem, The Waste-Land (1922).  These editions emphasize the reception history of the poem in various ways.  Most pedagogy in literary criticism presumes that students should produce strenuous commentaries on "difficult" (that is, "literary") texts, addressing their paratexts to a hypothetical audience of peers, but delivering it, in the end, to the instructor, an audience of one.  Jeff's presentation concerns his ongoing attempt to rethink this circuit, encouraging students to do things with literary texts rather than churn out exegeses and to share the results of their work with a wider audience. 
Jeff Allred's presentation

Tony DeJesus will discuss two collaborative activities in his Ways of Knowing class at the School of Social Work. Students used wikis within Blackboard to collaboratively build annotated bibliographies and criteria for excellence in key course performance outcomes--research papers, class/Blackboard participation, group presentation and teaching. Professor de Jesus will share the procedures and tools he used, as well as insights gained from facilitating and giving feedback on these activities.
Tony DeJesus' presentation