Collaborative Writing in E-Learning Environments
Neide Santos (IME/DICC – Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Flávia Maria Santoro (DIA – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Marcos R.S. Borges (IM/DCC&NCE – Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2008
In this article, we review the main concepts, theories and supporting tools for collaborative writing and present and discuss our tool called EdiTex. Editex supports the following activities involved in coauthoring Edition, Perception, Coordination, Interaction, and Storage. A text has an author and an identification number, besides it is composed of fragments, which can be paragraphs, phrases, sections, chapters, and these comments can be associated to each fragment. We assessed EdiTex in two case studies and the results point out that it helped the students in the task of writing an essay collaboratively. Even so, the general results showed that group composition, task nature, context and infrastructure for communication are key points for successful collaboration in groupware. In all case studies, the tasks performed were similar; all of them involving the collective production of short texts, despite the work processes have been different. The groups’ members had similar academic formation, and anyway, we observed great differences in work dynamics. Individual characteristics have strong influence; therefore the environments must stimulate, as well as exploit individualities for the success of the work.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Interdependence Rules: constrains that guide a group to work group in order to achive collaboration.
Perception: Act of becoming aware of other participants’ work within a collaborative environment.
Collaborative Learning: mutual engagement of participants in a coordinated effort to solve the problem together.
Contribution: Particular view or piece of knowledge provided by a member of the group in the context of a work group.
Coordination: Set of actions that guarantee the consistency of shared objects in a collaborative environment.
Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL): Technological support to supply collaborative learning.
Collaborative Writing: Project where written works are created by multiple people together (collaboratively) rather than individually.