Writing Instruction using Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning



Anna Maria Wing



Welcome! This course is designed as a professional development opportunity to introduce teachers to the benefits of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning (CSCL), and how it can be incorporated into instruction to help students because better prepared for the 21st Century world. The specific focus for the course is how CSCL can be used to improve student writing literacy and can prepare students for the types of collaborative writing tasks they will likely encounter in both college and the 21st century workforce. This course will provide some theoretical background and research explaining the emergence of CSCL as a pedagogical practice, and then will provide instruction on practical application for implementing CSCL in the classroom. This will include an introduction to using wikis for classroom learning, particularly a popular wiki called Titanpad.

Get Ready... icon-teacher.png

Before proceeding, here are a few things you should know...

In order to continue with the course and successfully achieve the above course goals, participants should:

  • be able to navigate the Internet using a web browser (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox)
  • understand the basic concept of collaborative learning
  • have prior experience with K-12 writing instruction
  • be familiar with using the peer review and revision in the writing process

Teacher participants may have an easier experience with this course if they:

  • Are open-minded and positive about using new technologies in their classrooms
  • Are open-minded to the idea of student writing being done as a collaborative process and not strictly an independent activity
  • Interact with other participants while taking the course to give room for face to face discussion and reflection
  • Have had some degree of exposure to Web 2.0 learning tools

Good luck and enjoy your learning experience!

Course Objectives

idea.png Essential Question: How can teachers use technology to engage students and prepare them for 21st-century writing tasks?

By the completion of this course, you should be able to:

· Define computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL).

· Demonstrate the ability to use web-based tools to support collaborative student writing, such as TitanPad (an easy to use wiki website).

· Analyze and evaluate the benefits of using collaborative activities to increase writing skills.

Unit One: What is Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, and why use it?

552987.gif By the completion of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify 21st Century skills and how they impact today's students
  • Define computer-supported collaborative learning

Unit Two: How - and why - should I use CSCL to teach writing?

552987.gif By the completion of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify the value of collaboration as part of the writing process
  • analyze the task of writing as a social, not merely independent, process

Unit Three: What are tools that I can use for the practical application of CSCL in my classroom?

552987.gif By the completion of this unit you should be able to:

  • identify and use a wiki website for collaborative writing
  • be able to design a learning experience for students that would use CSCL to support collaborative writing
  • evaluate the digital collaborative writing process


Kittle, P., & Hicks, T. (2009). Transforming the Group Paper with Collaborative Online Writing. Pedagogy, 9(3), 525-538. File:Kittle and Hicks 2008.pdf

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Salomon, G., Kosminsky, E, & Asaf, M. (2003). Computers and Writing. In T. Nunes & Bryant,P. (Eds.) (2003). Handbook of children's literacy. (pp. 409-442). London: Kluwer. File:Computers and writing.pdf

Stahl, G., Koschmann, T., & Suthers, D. (2006). Computer-supported collaborative learning: An historical perspective. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 409-426). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. File:CSCL English.pdf

Wikis as Collaborative Writing Tool


Link back to Anna Wing's Portfolio Page

Link back to ETAP 623 Fall 2011