The Dangerous Blog for Grad Students

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“What You See Is (Not) What You Get: Collaborative Composing in Visual Space” Precis October 14, 2008

Filed under: Precis — deduvick @ 10:39 am
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price-whatMargaret Price and Anne Bradford Warner

Mention of collaboration can instantly bring up fears of plagiarism, conformity and lost sight of social discourses.  And now, collaboration is moving to included visual text as well.  Students are working on websites and other such projects together.  This article takes a look at several websites that were designed under the Bush-Hewlett Grant Program, a program that is all about having students and teachers work together to build websites.  The three websites are on completely different subjects and the ways they got to where they are today are as disparate.  The first website had very little student input, and what was accepted was relegated to a specified area.  The finished product was very well designed, but not really by any students.  However, another website was almost completely controlled by students, in that students contribute to almost every aspect of the site, except the design.  That for the main part is taken care of by one students, who is paid for his work.  The last website then was the most collaborative of the three and also the most messy.  There were no guidelines or rules set up and so everything was hard to work with and contributors would get easily frustrated.  

All in all, this study of these websites shows us that at times, to make something work, more control must be taken by an instructor or other such person.  In the first two examples, the outcomes were better and tensions were less higher.  If teachers can only step in and set up what they want the collaborative groups to do, students may feel less stressed and hassled over the collaborative work assigned to them.  


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