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Thursday, October 27 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Writing Commons

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This presentation will provide the context for the development of Writing Commons, a peer-reviewed academic, OER.


Writing Commons aspires to be a community for writers, a creative learning space for students in courses that require college-level writing, a creative, interactive space for teachers to share resources and pedagogy. MP900433057

    * First, we provide resources students need to improve their writing. Writing Commons offers free access to an award-winning, college textbook, which was published by a major publisher in 2003 and received the Distinguished Book Award in 2004 from Computers and Composition, an academic journal. Site Map
    * Second, in the spirit of the cultural commons, we invite our readers, particularly college faculty and students, to help us develop this text, so that it meets the needs of students in diverse writing courses.  Call for Writers
    * Third, because we believe students learn chiefly by writing and by sharing reviews of one another's texts, we provide a writing space for students to develop profile pages, chat with classmates, and share pictures and notes: Community!

We aspire to be a ";commons-based peer production" community Peer Production tools are like 21st Century barn-building; they allow for massive acts of collaborative creation by asking for just a little effort from each contributor. As espoused by both scholarly authors (Benkler; Brown and Duguid; boyd and Ellison; Barton and Cummings; Jenkins) and trade book authors (Li and Bernoff; Gillmor; Tapscott and Williams; Weinberger), peer-production tools democratize power, redistributing the means of production from a one-way communication model, like a CBS broadcasting tower, to an increasingly community-driven model, where individuals contribute freely and democratically. Peer-production technologies are more powerful than they might at first seem: they allow users to add content which affects the way knowledge is constructed.  Perhaps the most intriguing idea to emerge from the evolution of social media and peer production is the possibility of collective intelligence, the notion that crowds of people working collaboratively via an online tool such as Wikipedia can create ideas that are unique, different, and smarter than the ideas of individuals working in collaboration. James Surowiecki, George Siemens, Henry Jenkins, and Howard Rheingold have theorized that peer-production tools empower users to create a new "emergent" knowledge that individuals working alone could not develop. Peer-production technologies change the ways we exchange ideas, organize ourselves, and create knowledge (Weinberger; Shirky; Jenkins); encourage democratic decision-making (Benkler; Shirky; Rheingold); transform how people write and think about ourselves (Lanier); and encourage ethical behavior (Benkler and Nissenbaum). It's only natural, then, that they also change how we organize our institutions of higher learning (Taylor, End of the University.), particularly textbooks.  By this we mean that we hope that crowds of people--from experts such as professors and professional writers to undergraduate students--can collaborate with us to revise the pages we've already written as well as write new pages. We are inspired by the ways peer-production tools democratize power, redistributing the means of production from a one-way communication model, like a CBS broadcasting tower, to an increasingly community-driven model, where individuals contribute freely and democratically.  By working collaboratively, we are hopeful that we can develop a new kind of writing textbook, a textbook not written by a single author in the old-school way but by us, by a crowd of people out there who think we need a new kind of writing text, one that is more interactive, more Web 2.0ish--a text that can be easily edited to meet your needs, a text that is readily available on your phone, PDA, or netbook, an expansive textbook that meets the needs of any college-level writer.



Joe Moxley

My current interests are social pedagogy, peer production, and interface design in the context of pedagogy and assessment. Currently, I'm working on My Reviewers, a web-based resource that enables teachers and students to use rubrics and commenting tools to review and grade student writing; and Writing Commons, an Open Education Resource. My most recent book, Agency in the Age of Peer Production, a collaborative project, is in-press with NCTE... Read More →

Thursday October 27, 2011 3:30pm - 4:00pm
Painted Horse

Attendees (10)