Norah Fahim Jennifer Eidum Zinchuk University of Washington, Seattle, WA 2014 TESOL Convention, Portland OR Digital Composing: Utilizing Students’ Web Skills for L2 Collaborative Writing Overview • • • • • Definitions Why write collaboratively? Students’ reactions How to use Google Drive Discussion & Questions Context Overview • • • • • • • 1st year composition course 4 year College Matriculated students Self-identity as Multilingual Learners (MLLs) Self- enroll in MLL specific sections Meet 4 days a week, 50 minutes each day Total of 2 classes: 37 students Introducing collaborative writing to your class Present a pre-survey to your students: • Gives students chance to reflect on their previous writing experience • Allows you to gauge how much preparation and pre-discussion you need to have in class What is Collaborative Writing? (from pre-survey) Students interpretation: • “It means different people have different job in the writing process and they contribute to the final article” • “It means writing with extra help and different ideas” • "Composing an essay together by [combining] ideas from each one in the group” Students’ Prior Experiences with Collaborative Writing: Frustrations – “It went badly because other people in my groups weren’t doing anything for the assignment so I had to do it myself” – "[I've done it] twice—not so well (one as pairs – one a group search) ended up writing alone both times” Students’ Prior Experiences with Collaborative Writing: Benefits – "I think it’s great, because when you are in a group, everybody has different idea about the same topic, and after communication and synthesize notes, we can create a interesting and comprehensive article” – “it went well since we communicate and agree with each other” Why do Collaborative Writing? • Why does writing have to be such an isolated process? • Let's first think of our students' future writing projects in the workplace... – “Strauss (2001) argues that in many ways group assessment reflects the reality of the real world where group work is increasingly valued in the workplace and where collaborative writing is a common practice” (as cited in Wigglesworth & Storch, 2009) What More Can Collaborative Writing Offer? • Traditional writing classrooms: – Focus on individual writing processes with collaborative learning assignments utilized only in support of individual writing objectives • Collaborative writing situations allow: – Reflection on individual writing choices – Increased engagement in the writing process with their peers. (Storch, 2005) Benefits to Collaborative Writing • Collaborative writing, both in L1 and L2 environments, fosters reflective thinking with a consideration for rhetorical effectiveness, organization, style, and grammar. (Storch 2005). • In addition, collaboratively written assignments tend to be more accurate and more concise (Storch 2005). Why ONLINE Collaborative Writing? • It's highly likely your students are competent internet users – Pre-writing survey of 2 classes: Do you have a Gmail account? Have you used Google Drive (Docs)? No: 10.0 No: Yes: 15.0 16.0 Yes: 21.0 Yes No Yes m et a- char t .com No m et a- char t .com But Still, Why ONLINE Collaborative Writing? • Online collaborative writing provides students with a space they are in control of, and in a platform they are comfortable with • Can't meet up with my writing partner! Meeting online solves that • Layers of interaction give students multiple opportunities for contribution (comment, chat, voice, etc.) “How to” Scaffold Collaborative Writing • Pre-Writing Activities: – Engage with students’ prior experiences (good or bad) Define term(s), brainstorm experiences, use survey – Set up clear expectations, responsibilities, and accountability Have students consider assignment tasks, set up rubric, divide duties; Set up small tasks with due dates along the way “How to” Scaffold Collaborative Writing • Consider how you want to put students in groups: pairs? Small groups? You choose groups? Based on ability? Interests? They choose? • Consider assessment and assignment timeline Online Collaborative Writing Platforms How to set up your Google Doc • For students who already have a Google account (gmail, for example), they can just log into their account and then go to: http://drive.google.com • For students who don’t have a Google account they can create one by signing up at: https://accounts.google.com/ Log in to your Google account OR Create an account How to set up your Google Doc • After logging in, go to http://drive.google.com • Then, one student in the group should create a new document: Create a new document In Google Drive you can create many different kinds of files. This opens up possibilities for collaborative tasks such as group presentations, surveys, etc. How to set up your Google Doc • Once the document is created, NAME and SHARE it Click here to Name the document Click here to Share the document with your group (and instructor) How to set up your Google Doc Add your group mates’ email addresses here And click “Done” How to set up your Google Doc Begin writing! As you write, you can leave comments for your partner Highlight text, select comment, and leave feedback How to set up your Google Doc Real-time Chat: • This colored box means your group mate is online. • Click the chat icon to open the chat box, and type here How to set up your Google Doc 1. 2. 3. It is easy to download your doc as a traditional computer file Student Interaction During Collaborative Writing Process In post-writing Survey • All students reported using Google Docs • A majority used the "Comment" function • Several used the chat function • Some also met face-to-face • One pair also used text messaging Student Reflections on Using the Online Platform • Instant Writing Feedback: “Real time peer review. VERY Good!” “Easier to finish the assignment and we can check errors for each other” “It is very effective to use the ‘comment’ function, and everyone can see what is going on, and decide should we do the modification to that specific part” Student Reflections (continued) • Time management: “We met online, because we have different courses at different time, so it is impossible for us to meet face-toface. But the internet solves this problem. We did use Google docs and We chat to communicate with each other. That was offered me so many convenience” Considerations •There’s always room •Where do you take it for improvement from here? Discussion Questions • Can you imagine any assignments where you might ask students to write collaboratively online? • What kinds of skills are students developing while doing online collaborative writing? • What additional questions do you have for us? References: • Storch, N. (2005). Collaborative writing: Product, process and students’ reflections. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 153– 173. • Wigglesworth, G., & Storch, N. (January 01, 2009). Pair versus Individual Writing: Effects on Fluency, Complexity and Accuracy. Language Testing, 26, 3, 445-466.