Google Docs Motivates Creative Inspiration and Constructive Interaction

Google Docs Motivates Creative Inspiration and Constructive Interaction

Mary-Lynn Chambers (Elizabeth City State University, USA) and Tiffany E. Price (University of the People, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7183-4.ch004
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The value of constructive annotation during the creative writing process will be examined in this chapter. Specifically, two case studies will be considered. The first study investigates the constructive role Google Docs played in a creative writing class at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU). The second study reveals the power annotative feedback through Google Docs provided during the editing process of a novel earmarked for publication. This chapter will outline the method used in establishing a constructive venue implementing an annotative review procedure. Then the authors will detail the beneficial role annotation provided when implemented by both peers/instructor and by writer/editor while working within Google Docs.
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Technology has permeated our private world, our educational space, and our workplace. When digital cutting-edge technology is incorporated into an instructional/mentoring relationship, the process by which a successful final writing product is achieved can be navigated more efficiently (Black, 2009). Also, the classroom can be the training ground for the global workplace when the instructor and students see the value of online annotating as part of the composition process, as well as an opportunity for skill development that can be used in the future global workplace (Moore, 2016).

The traditional, face-to-face classroom setting can be intimidating for students who are novice writers. The peer review process can create a vulnerability that could potentially discourage the creative process (Petzel & Wenzel, 1993). With this concern in mind, the authors of this chapter conducted participatory research with the goal of encouraging pedagogical transformation that would enable the inclusion of an online, collaborative venue during the creative writing process. One resource that was a possible online venue was Google Docs found within Google Drive – a site that allowed for annotative comments during the review process and had potential to be a valuable pedagogical tool (Rochester, 2003; Zhou, 2012; Blau & Caspi, 2009; Suwantarathip & Wichadee, 2014) in a creative writing process. The research of Blau and Caspi (2009) and Suwantarathip and Wichadee (2014) revealed that this online setting met the requirements needed for a Creative Writing college class as well as an editor/author working relationship that was managed at a distance, which were the two settings for this exploratory research. Google Docs also allowed for the necessary smaller group setting where dialogue regarding best practices and possible revisions during the developmental writing stages could occur. Bernier and Stenstrom (2016) promote the ingenuity that results when small groups are formed in an online setting – a space that is instructor-led but student-driven. However, these authors assert that the process must be systematic with a specific task design. The key to student success is rooted in following guidelines and full engagement throughout the review process. Google Drive had the potential to allow these elements to occur.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Annotation: A comment or words of explanation that are added to a body of text.

Digital Literacy: The ability to use technological devices, platforms or information in an attempt to communicate, inform, create or evaluate through the combined requirement of technical and cognitive skills.

Learning Strategies: Using self-generated actions, feelings, or thoughts toward the attainment of personal goals.

Cognition: Using thoughts, experiences, and senses to actively acquire knowledge and understanding.

Pedagogy: The practice and methodology of teaching applied to a theoretical concept or academic subject.

Writing Cognition: Actively communicating understanding, thoughts, and perception in the written language.

Situated Tool: An instrument that is used effectively in a specific setting that is pertinent to its effectiveness.

Collaboration: Working with another party to create or produce something.

Ethics: A person’s actions or the process of conducting an activity that is navigated by moral principles.

Generative: An item capable of production or reproduction.

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