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to trace the history of the shared writing assignment, allowing a view of individual student participation and group collaboration.


Open and More Transparent Writing Space Working in the Cloud offers a writing space that is freed from the confines of the


classroom or the restrictions of the physical page. Students can easily control who has access to participate, and members of the group can monitor participation through the revision history. Such transparency also invites you as the faculty facilitator into the collaboration (if this is deemed preferable for the collaboration). For instance, you can add comments and suggestions and even redirect the project during the writing process.


Application Students will need an opportunity to practice collaborating in Google Documents


in a class session. Groups should discuss options for a ―Plan B‖ in the event that a student has an issue with Google Documents. (For example, a group might be able to email or Facebook a working outline.) Faculty should also lead a discussion on how to collaborate on the final document. During the post-viewing class session, student groups can divide the tasks for the final document (by assigning sections to author). They can copy and paste their assigned and completed sections or coauthor and edit (synchronously) during a selected time. You should address any concerns students might have about a team member not contributing to the collaboration. Remind students that through ―Revision History‖ there is evidence of each individual’s collaboration. Finally, while the collaboration should occur within Google Documents, the final product should be exported into a Word Document to turn in for the assignment. The rationale for exporting into Word is to allow editing of the final version to take advantage of a wider range of formatting features.


Google Documents includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and


drawing applications. Thus, a variety of forms of collaborative writing can be supported. From brainstorming ideas to coauthoring a presentation, students can collaborate in real time regardless of their geographic location. Google Documents, then, is a useful tool


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