ERIC Number: ED261384
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct-1
An Emerging Rhetoric of Collaboration: Computers, Collaboration, and the Composing Process.
Selfe, Cynthia L.; Wahlstrom, Billie J.
A study was conducted to explore how microcomputers had affected the collaborative writing and communication habits of 11 teachers and 16 students at a midwestern technological university. Informal observations made after the computers were placed in faculty workspaces and later in a computer lab led to a more formal survey of teachers and students and to follow-up interviews. The results of the observations, surveys, and interviews indicated that increased use of computers for composing in the humanities department had intensified collaborative writing habits among the students and faculty in three ways: (1) by bringing faculty and students together in communal writing spaces, (2) by encouraging faculty to establish new patterns of sharing information about writing, and (3) by altering the social patterns that controlled the exchange of written copy. Teachers reported increasing their rate of communication with other writers when they composed on computers in the communal workspaces rather than with pen and paper in an isolated setting. Both teachers and students indicated that traditional boundaries existing between the two groups began to break down in the computer labs, although some respondents did not see this as a positive development. Because of the public nature of writing, students and faculty appeared to be developing an etiquette, specifically designed for communal writing spaces, that included rules about greeting other users, looking at someone else's screen copy, and locating oneself physically in relation to other writers composing on computers. (Tables of data are included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A