The University of Sussex

A framework for the study of computer supported collaborative writing

Mike Sharples, James Goodlet, Eevi Beck, Charles Wood, Steve Easterbrook, Lydia Plowman, Warren Evans

This paper sets out a framework for the investigation of collaborative writing, an exacting task given the complexities of group interaction, and represents a position paper rather than the direct results of empirical research. The motivation for such an investigation is to make recommendations for the design of computer tools to facilitate and support collaborative writing. We propose an initial account of collaborative writing informed by theories of single person writing and small-group interaction. The elements of our framework are drawn from the literature in these two areas and we use this to explore the activities involved in collaborative writing, and to identify areas which particularly need empirical investigation.

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