Chris Compson's Portfolio


Collaborative Writing in an Online Environment



As research and empirical evidence indicates, facility in writing is augmented when the author is aware of a genuine audience and able to develop their ideas through collaboration and feedback. As Miller, Wald, Harris, Bollier,and Hill (2010) point out, "each aspect of the writing process—including invention, writing, and editing—are inherently social acts that benefit from and thrive in a collaborative environment." Given the advances in instructional technology over the past decade, the ease, ability, and efficacy of collaborative writing has never been greater.

Needs Analysis

1. Instructional Problem: The need for professional development and exposure to emerging online collaborative writing environments.

2. The Nature of What is to be Learned: This course will facilitate teachers gaining familiarity and comfort with online collaborative writing environments, and enable them to plan units utilizing these elements.

3. About the Learners: Participants are K-12 educators who are currently teaching writing in the a classroom setting. Each participant will have a working knowledge of the internet and internet access available for instructional purposes.

4. Instructional Content: Each unit will be designed in a similar fashion. The units will begin with an overview of the content and clear learning objectives. Each unit will contain a video or text based lecture covering the content and various activities that facilitate understanding. The activities will be rooted in discussion and Web 2.0 activities which will model collaborative writing in their classrooms. Each unit will conclude with reflection and build toward a summative task of developing a unit around online writing collaboration.

Task Analysis

1. Course Purpose: After participating in this course, participants will be able to use, manipulate, and facilitate collaborative writing using online environments in their classrooms.

2. Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

  • understand the purpose and reason for collaborative writing by developing a behavioral rubric to assess student performance and engaging in class discussion.
    (Enabling Prerequisites): familiarity with online discussion forums, desire to incorporate
    collaboration in writing instruction
    (Supportive Prerequisites): knowledge of rubric design and creation 
  • explain and understand the various forms of online collaborative writing by creating a graphic organizer outlining three online collaborative writing environments.
    (Enabling Prerequisites): basic web navigation, familiarity with web-based instructional
    modes, understanding of writing pedagogy and process
    (Supportive Prerequisites): understanding of collaborative practices in writing,
    understanding of standards for evaluation, facility with document generation programs,
    process of conducting an Internet search, ability to navigate web 2.0 tools

  • design a collaborative writing unit that facilitates understanding by creating lessons using appropriate online collaborative writing environments.
    (Enabling Prerequisites): knowledge of lesson design and unit development
    (Supportive Prerequisites): access and familiarity with online collaborative writing
    environments, manipulation of instruction online

File:ETAP 623 ICM.pdf


Miller, J. Harris, S. Bollier, D. & Hill, B. (2010) Collaborative Literary Creation and Control. Retrieved from:

White, N. (2000) Student Creators: How to Contribute to the Internet. Edutopia. Retrieved from:

Rubenstein, G. (2008) Collaboration Generation: Teaching and Learning for a New Age. Edutopia. Retrieved from:

Surowiecki, K. (2004) The wisdom of crowds. New York:Doubleday.

Howe, J. (2008) Crowdsourcing. YouTube. Retrieved from: