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Collaborative Composition Histories

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This presentation explores the definition of collaboration in the classroom, provides some brief history of composition (and related) theories that support collaboration, and looks at some of the benefits of having students collaborate, whether in small classroom exercises or on larger projects. The majority of the presentation focuses on some practical ways to get students writing together in the classroom, including a model for scaffolding and modeling the process before leaving students to alternately write both collaborative and independently. The presentation concludes with some additional examples of collaborative writing exercises for the classroom and by sharing some online resources for team assignments and online collaboration.

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Collaborative Composition Histories

  1. 1. Collaborative Composition Histories:Some Practical Classroom Activities Monique Babin, English Clackamas Community College Oregon City, Oregon CCHA Regional Conference – Portland Oregon, Oct. 2012
  2. 2. Agenda  How do we define collaboration?  What is the history of collaborative composition theory?  What are some benefits to collaboration?  How do we help students achieve successful  collaboration?  What can we conclude?
  3. 3. Collaborative learning includes . . .  Peer tutoring  Peer response  Small group and class discussion  Co-authored texts  Group papers (Viggiano)
  4. 4. Theoretical Basis for Collaboration  Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975)  Roland Barthes (1915 – 1980)  Michel Foucault (1926 – 1984)  Kenneth Bruffee  Patricia Bizzell  David Bartholomae
  5. 5. Mikhail Bakhtin Language and communication are . . .  Dialogic  A product of social interaction and recreation  Made up of utterances that belong to speech genres  Contextual and intertextual (Brandist)
  6. 6. Roland Barthes  The author is no longer the sole origin of a text‟s meaning.  To view the author as central to the meaning of the text is an act of suppression of difference.  With no final meaning signified, we have only the text. (Allen) “The text is a fabric of quotations resulting from a thousand sources of culture.”
  7. 7. Michel Foucault  The author is outside the text and precedes it.  We classify works as characteristic of an author (e.g. a poem is Baudelairian).  The author becomes the expression of the discourse rather than the text being the expression of the author.
  8. 8. Kenneth Bruffee  “Thought is internalized conversation.”  Therefore, though is not “an essential attribute of the human mind,” but rather “an artifact created by social interaction.”  “If thought is internalized public and social talk, then writing of all kinds is internalized social talk made public and social again.”
  9. 9. Patricia Bizzell & David Bartholomae  Students have to “appropriate . . . a specialized discourse . . . mimicking its language.” (Bartholomae)  We need to help students determine the conventions and demystify them. The writer “is in a constant tangle with the language, obliged to recognize its public communal nature and yet driven to invent out of this language his own statements.” (Bartholomae)
  10. 10. Benefits of Collaborative Writing  Forces writers to articulate thought processes.  Provides peer models for students who may be struggling.  Allows for more complex projects.  Builds relationships and community.  Generates higher order and more complex thought.  Mirrors real-world practices. (Viggiano)
  11. 11. Provide Scaffolding I – Inquiry M – Modeling S – Shared Writing C – Collaborative Writing I – Independent Writing (Read)
  12. 12. Inquiry Present a sample Read aloud Ask student to identify predominant features and conventions Provide specific writing instruction appropriate to the task (Read)
  13. 13. Student Sample: Evaluation of a Work of Art The ball could have been tiled illustrating a mosaic design ofOregon only, however city officials thought it important to show the richdiversity of the world through a mosaic design of ecologicalawareness. The layers of saturated color add depth and dimension toEco-Earth. Each two inch by two inch tile was cut by volunteers to fitthe design of the 60 panels that comprise the ball. Oceans are a blendof aqua blue in the deepest areas of the oceans, marine blue tiles flowalong the forms of the continents. The panels encircling the sphericalsculpture replicate the latitude and longitude lines of a globe. Many ofthe icons depicting each individual ecological system are layered with
  14. 14. Student Sample: Evaluation of a Work of Artbrilliant colors thoughtfully chosen to consciously represent eachecological environment. There is a whimsical nature about Eco-Earththat appeals to children; this is evident in the mythological creaturessuch as a mermaid that lies in the aqua tiled oceans. Planet Earth hasbeen portrayed using many different mediums of art, however what isawe inspiring about Eco-Earth is the level of skill required to mortar86,000 tiles onto a curved surface and unfold a unique depiction of ourplanet. Eco-Earth . . . [makes] one contemplate why . . . it is vitallyimportant that we care for our Earth through educating ourselves onthe balance of people with our ecological environments.
  15. 15. ModelModel the process at all stages (Read) Prewriting Revising Writing
  16. 16. Shared WritingInstructor involves studentsin making decisions about Topic Sentence structure Organization (Read)
  17. 17. Collaborative Writing  Student writing group assumes complete responsibility  Students produce a single text or parallel texts, but process is collaborative  Process is particularly valuable to English language learners (Read)
  18. 18. Independent Writing Alternate Scaffolding Independent independent & removed writing collaborative process (Read)
  19. 19. Elbow’s Collaborative Collage 1. Arrange students in small groups and have them write individually on a given topic. 2. Have students choose sections that they like best and share them with the group. 3. Instruct students to create a collage from their favorite pieces (sequence, additions, omissions, transitions, etc. must all be determined). Any new pieces are written individually, but revisions are made as a group. Students might also write a reflection that discusses the group experience, along with the benefits and drawbacks of working in a group. (Viggiano)
  20. 20. Additional Collaborative Activities Post passages from class readings to a wiki and have students provide annotations. Assign student groups to lead weekly class sessions. Have students create or contribute to a wiki-style encyclopedia or glossary. Ask students to co-author a short story. Remove an excerpt from a short story and have students write the missing piece. (Phillipson)
  21. 21. Additional Collaborative Activities Have a small group of students (3 or 4) work together to outline an argument. Think-Pair-Share. Pass the prompt freewrite. Others?
  22. 22. Student Team Assignment Resourceshttp://studentteams.x10.mx/
  23. 23. Online Collaborative Fun! Folding Story: http://foldingstory.com/ Ficly: http://ficly.com/ Story Mash: http://storymash.com/ Novlet: http://www.novlet.com/
  24. 24. Conclusions The theoretical basis for collaborative writing demonstrates the social nature of language, thought, and communication, and the need to introduce students to collaborative learning and writing. Instructors must model these processes in the classroom and create clearly defined collaborative activities.
  25. 25. ReferencesAllen, Graham. “Roland Barthes.” New York: Routledge, 2003. Print.Bartholomae, David. “Inventing the University.” When a Writer Can’t Write: Studies in Writer’s Block and Other Composing Problems. Ed. Mike Rose. New York: Guilford, 1985. 273 – 85. Print.Brandist, Craig. “The Bakhtin Circle.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. N.p. 15 Jul. 2005. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.Bruffee, Kenneth. “Collaborative Learning and the „Conversation of Mankind.‟” College English. 46.7 (1984): 635 – 52. Print.Foucault, Michel. “What is an Author?” Twentieth Century Literary Theory. Ed. Vassilis Lambropoulous and David Neal Miller. New York: Albany State UP, 1987. 124 – 42. Print.Phillipson, Mark. “Engaging in Collaborative Writing.” Enhanced: New Media Tools and Resources for Enhancing Education. 12 Nov. 2007. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.
  26. 26. ReferencesRead, Sylvia. “A Model for Scaffolding Writing Instruction: IMSCI.” Reading Teacher 64.1 (2010): 47-52. ERIC. Web. 14 Mar. 2011.Viggiano, Emily. “Teaching Tip Sheet: Collaborative Writing.” George Mason University. N.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2011.

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