ERIC Number: ED345294
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Communities and Collaboration: An Alternative Research Assignment for Literature Courses.
Mink, JoAnna Stephens
Collaborative work fits the cognitive learning style of most college students, and provides opportunities for students to learn how to become responsible and valuable members of groups. A collaborative research paper was used in an undergraduate survey course called Introduction to Drama. In groups of four, students wrote a paper discussing a play from the class reading list in terms of how they would produce that play. The assignment met the important criteria for effective group learning: (1) the duration was long enough (4 weeks) for effective group cohesion to occur; (2) there was time for leadership to emerge and negotiations of authority; (3) different types of tasks were involved; (4) groups could build upon individual expertise; and (5) students evaluated themselves as well as other group members, and these evaluations were used in determining grades. Student response was overwhelmingly positive. The assignment was successful because it gave students the opportunity to work together toward a common goal and learn from each other. This approach provides an alternative to the typical research paper written in isolation. (An appendix contains a handout with instructions for the collaborative term paper assignment.) (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (43rd, Cincinnati, OH, March 19-21, 1992).