Collaborative Learning and Writing

Essays on Using Small Groups in Teaching English and Composition


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About the Book

Although most writing instructors know the benefits of collaborative learning and writing in college writing classes, many remain unsure how to implement collaborative techniques successfully in the classroom. This collection provides a diversity of voices that address the “how tos” of collaborative learning and writing by addressing key concerns about the process. Fresh essays consider the importance of collaborative work and peer review, the best ways to select groups in classes, integration of collaborative learning techniques into electronic environments, whether group learning and writing are appropriate for all writing classes, and ways special populations can benefit from collaborative activities. Despite its challenges, collaborative learning can prove remarkably effective and this study provides the advice to make it work smoothly and successfully.

About the Author(s)

Kathleen M. Hunzer is an associate professor of English and the director of Written Communication at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. Her writing has appeared in Feminist Teacher, Writing Lab Newsletter, Literary Magazine Review, Pedagogy, and International Journal of Listening.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Kathleen M. Hunzer
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 236
Bibliographic Info: figures, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6029-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8977-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      iv

Preface KATHLEEN M. HUNZER      1

Part I: Why are collaborative learning and peer review important?

Writing Courses Live and Die by the Quality of Peer Review JASON WIRTZ      5

Bringing New Perspectives to a Common Practice: A Plan for Peer Review ANTHONY EDGINGTON      17

Reinventing Peer Review Using Writing Center Techniques: Teaching Students to Use Peer-Tutorial Methodology CATHERINE SIMPSON KALISH,


“It’s just too nicey-nicey around here”: Teaching Dissensus in Research and Collaborative Groups JACOB STRATMAN      43

Part II: How do I best select groups in my classes?

Increasing Student Participation and Accountability in Group Production of Text through Speed Interviews MIALISA A. MOLINE      55

Connecting Writing Process with Personality: Creating Long-Lasting Trust Circles in Writing Classes KATHLEEN M. HUNZER      66

Forming Peer Critique Groups Through Personality Preferences MIALISA A. MOLINE      75

Part III: How do I integrate collaborative learning techniques into electronic environments?

Collaborative Learning and Writing in Digital Environments CINDY TEKOBBE, YAZMIN LAZCANO-PRY, and DUANE ROEN      87

Keeping Up with the Future: Using Technology to Facilitate Small-Group Collaboration in the Writing Classroom KELLY A. SHEA      99

Cooperative and Collaborative Writing with Google Docs DONNA J. EVANS and BEN S. BUNTING, JR.      109

Working with Groups Online: Collaborating with Web Conferencing CHERYL HAWKINSON MELKUN      130

Part IV: Can collaborative learning and writing work in all writing classes?

Blending Collaboration and Competition: A Model for Small Group Learning in Business Writing Classes RANDI BROWNING      143

Revisiting Collaborative Writing and Electronic Dialogues in Business Communication FLORENCE ELIZABETH BACABAC      166

Collaborative Composing: Practices and Strategies for Implementing Team Projects into Writing Classrooms KARA POE ALEXANDER      181

Part V: Can special populations benefit from collaborative activities?

Working Together Towards Greatness: The Cumulative Writing Model and English Language Learners ROBB MARK MCCOLLUM      201

Anxiety Disorders and the Collaborative Classroom KATHLEEN M. HUNZER      217

About the Contributors      225

Index      229

Book Reviews & Awards

“Helps instructors incorporate effective collaborative learning into their writing classes”—Reference & Research Book News.