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Literacy 7-12

Systems Change
Literacy 7-12 > Strategies > Collaborative Writing

Collaborative Writing

Overview

When peers are able to work together to plan, draft, edit, and revise during the Composition process, their writing quality improves. In collaborative writing, students gain autonomy of their writing and increase social engagement, which can stimulate Motivation. With appropriate structure, peer discussion, and feedback, collaborative writing can also improve students' Foundational Writing Skills, Vocabulary, Syntax, and Disciplinary Literacy.

Use It in the Classroom

Watch as these students write a story together. For this type of collaborative writing activity, groups of students write and revise a story together before sharing it with the class.

  • Teachers should model what collaborative writing looks like, demonstrate constructive feedback to enhance Social Awareness & Relationship Skills, and provide a focus for editors' Attention, since the writing process is complex. Students should also be encouraged to set clear goals for their writing and be provided with clear expectations of the task. Teachers can also use collaborative writing, particularly in online settings, to explicitly teach through authentic, real-time feedback.
  • Design It into Your Product

    Videos are chosen as examples of strategies in action. These choices are not endorsements of the products or evidence of use of research to develop the feature.

    See how Google Docs can support collaborative writing. Their features that enhance collaboration include the ability for students to comment on other's writing, track changes in suggestion mode, and have multiple people work on one document at the same time.

  • Products that allow multiple students to efficiently and simultaneously work on a piece of writing can help support a positive Literacy Environment. Features such as track changes and comments can aid in the editing process and allow writers to easily follow suggestions to increase the quality of their writing. Online platforms should also have specific capabilities dedicated to planning and goal setting in order to streamline the writing process for students.