Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Response to study on collaborative writing

Noel & Robert examine perceptions of collaboration in documents.   It looks at how individuals utilize the various writing tools to write and communicate, which is termed groupware.  The researchers concluded “most productive writers rarely wrote collaboratively and rarely asked comments from colleges,” so I am convinced that individuals are not taking advantage of the resources offered by technology.  Most individuals prefer asynchronous writing, and I understand that writing can be a personal activity, but if it is shared collaboratively, benefits may be gained from another’s interpretation.   This study examines how individuals collaboratively write documents by exploring the types of tools that they use.  Academic writers in this study are not taking full advantage of technology.  They are married to outdated procedures, and could produce better documents by taking advantage of more computer supported collaborative tools.    It concurs with my belief that writers write only for their discourse community, and furthermore I found it to be biased towards academic collaborative writing groups.  I am more inclined to the constructivist school of thought, and the constructivists believe that learners with different skills and backgrounds should collaborate in tasks such as writing and discussions about writing to arrive at a shared and better understanding.


  1. There's often a tension between academic writers/worlds and professional discourse communities. Why do you think this tension persists?

  2. I think tension exists for many reasons, but off the top of my head professionals feel they are already performing, and academics feel they are that are studying the proper way to perform.

  3. I agree with Yolanda. Since I am stuck in the middle, I see the tension from both sides. The academic world thinks they are the best informants and teachers of discourse, and the professional world discredits academics because most academics have never worked in the "real world." I see this especially in technical writing.