This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
One motivation for focusing on collaborative writing came from College alumni


who have reported the need for more experience in working in groups as part of students’ academic development prior to entering the workforce. Working collaboratively provides not only valuable interpersonal and teambuilding skills, it can also deepen the learning experiences for students (Wolfe 2010). Research in Cognitive Load Theory suggests that collaborative learning environments may be an ideal model for constructing, reorganizing, and acquiring new information (Janssen et al. 2010). Currently, the general term used for collaborative learning is group work or group learning (Nilson, 2010). According to Nilson, the research on the effects of group learning has focused on three fundamental dimensions—achievement/productivity (learning), positive interpersonal relationships, and psychological health—and group work yields positive results on all of them (Johnson et al., 1991; Johnson & Johnson, 1989, 1994; Millis & Cottell, 1998 as cited in Nilson, p. 156).


Research in the classroom documents the benefits of group learning in different course levels and for different student experience levels. Yet, there are still benefits to individual work and other forms of teaching strategies that should complement course level group work. The shift to group work means that students must assume more responsibility as a result of group expectations and responsibilities and that faculty must structure the experience to obtain the best results. In many ways, students and faculty are already engaged in collaborative writing


both in coursework and in research. This collaboration takes many forms, for example: student revision and peer editing, developing a media project, or creating a class wiki. We focus here on peer collaborative writing because we want to promote learning environments that both facilitate student learning and that prepare our students for success in the 21st century working world. Our goal is to make the process explicit for faculty so that they can potentially pull a module from this document in order to begin incorporating student collaborative writing into their own teaching. Our focus on collaborative writing reflects the historical shift from the primacy of a


single author to the emergent collaborative nature of writing (Wolfe, 2010). Writing in the 21st century work place takes many forms: document sharing, content building, or


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