While Wikipedia articles are generally the result of the interactions of many people, Vetter points out that his project "does offer limited collaboration opportunities". While his students worked with editors and members of the Wikipedia community for revision, the experiment may not have allowed them to experience having their entries expanded upon by other, equally knowledgeable individuals.
Writing occurs on a spectrum of collaboration, ranging from micro (where the author receives draft feedback) to macro (where the text is co-authored). Wigglesworth and Storch point out that "the use of pair and small-group work…has received much research attention with generally supportive results. [However] the use of collaborative writing in general…is far less common" (460).
What benefits and challenges might arise from a pedagogy that stresses different levels of collaboration? How might we experiment with these types of writing in our classrooms?
Some challenges may included attempting to get eveyone on the same page [both literally and figuratively... <3 group 4]. Yavanna had her students develop a webpage togethr, but because it wasn't necessarily graded (they were contract graded) the students didn't spend adequate time making a quality project.
Students may have disparate levels of access to technology. For instance, students may have no access to internet in the home, students may not have computers, or out-of-date computers.
Individual time constraints may affect the group as a whole. For instance, traveling athletes, even if well-intended, may not have internet access at their hotels.
If it's well scaffolded and well-established (with significant weight regarding grades), it can be successful.
Additionally, we're thinking about the exigence of Vetter's assignment. With Athens-centric topics, one constraint might be that these pages or entries might not be popular or significant enough to an external community to elicit any significant collaboration. These students worked individually and collaborated with Wikipedia editors. They also had the option to edit a previously posted entry, grounding all of the experiences necessarily in collaboration.
We can experiment with this kind of writing by using Wikis and by highlighting class diiscussions on the memetic properties of social media (for instance, for a tweet or facebook status, students can learn that it means one thing when originally posted, but the retweets, shares, likes, favorites, comments, and refrshers all contribute to and collaborate with the original message).