_MOOs and Collaborative Learning_

Kenneth A. Bruffee's Collaborative Learning endorses a pedagogy which enables students to effectively learn to work together in small groups in order to empower them to depend on one another instead of an authoritative teacher and to prepare them for post-collegiate collaborative arenas. MOOs offer multiple possibilities for such collaborative learning of writing because of their relative lack of conventions, their ability to easily and interactively link together students's work, and their potential for the expansion of individual identity. In the section of expository and argumentative writing I am teaching in the fall of 1997, I will have my students create a collaborative MOO "essay"-space where their work can be linked together (through digging entrances and exits between rooms), be contained within one another (through the placing of dollhouses into rooms), and through virtual interaction between the rooms (through characters and programmed objects moving through multiple rooms). Each student will be pursuing their individual topics, but, as a group, they must program and describe their MOO space in a manner that creates an intertwined, collaborative project which implicitly addresses and expands upon the standards of traditional argumentative writing. My paper will report on the results of the students's projects as well as the effectiveness of using MOOs for the teaching of writing skills.

Presenter: Craig Rinne


Target Audience: Intermediate

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