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[Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration

Since collaborative writing is relatively common in certain disciplines, the challenge writers typically face involves some determination for how contributors each pull their own weight as “collaborators.” Lunsford and Ede’s (2011), Writing Together: Collaboration in Theory and Practice <http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Together-Collaboration-Practice-Composition/dp/0312601786> research over several decades on collaborative writing found that successful collaborative writing occurs when contributors have a clear, shared, transparent plan of who’s responsible for completing certain tasks in the collaboration.

However, the paradox arises regarding how contributors collaboratively formulate and mutually agree on a plan when it may be the case the certain members are more likely to determine or even dictate that plan. For example, a lead author may divvy up tasks for the other co-authors, creating a hierarchy that may then no longer be considered as a collaborative writing experience. Is then such a hierarchical power arrangement still a collaboration?

Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of Minnesota
Websites: Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com/>, Media literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com/>, Teaching literature <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com/>, Identity-focused ELA Teaching <http://identities.pbworks.com/>, Common Core State Standards <http://englishccss.pbworks.com/>, Apps for literacy learning <http://www.appsforlearningliteracies.com/>, Teaching about climate change <http://climatechangeela.pbworks.com/>

> On Apr 19, 2016, at 7:35 AM, Greg Mcverry <jgregmcverry@gmail.com> wrote:
> I like the connotative switch. Your version is way more inclusive mf
> multiple perspectives.
> Overall this has been a wonderful thread.
> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 7:57 PM Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>> Greg, what about instead of "conflict ... Seems rooted in a
>> male dominant discourse or view on the world" something like
>> "the male dominant discourse or view on conflict" is
>> destructive of collaboration.
>> Andy
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> *Andy Blunden*
>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>> On 19/04/2016 9:32 AM, Greg Mcverry wrote:
>>> I can find few to no instances where work and activity are
>>> not done collaboratively, in terms of work with others.
>>> It seems much of this discussion centers around work we
>>> choose to do, work we have to do, and choosing to do this
>>> work while playing well with others.
>>> So if conflict is central to collaboration it would
>>> therefore have to be central to work.
>>> Centering success and change as the result of conflict has
>>> never sat well with me. Seems rooted in a male dominant
>>> discourse or view on the world.
>>> Maybe its cooperation before conflict. Could those be the
>>> poles of collaboration?
>>> I am not a fan of measuring collaboration (even though my
>>> first real publication was on the development of these
>>> instruments). Especially as Lemke et al shared the recent
>>> assessment piece. Collaboration and the rest of the so
>>> called 21st century skills are better measured and
>>> developed in the spaces of learning rather than the learner.
>>> And these spaces must include the digital. I agree that
>>> there are resources wasted on edtech under the banner of
>>> collaboration.
>>> Yet I have seen and am a member of many open educational
>>> communities who harness a collective knowledge base that
>>> was never before possible due to limits of time and
>>> distance...including this listserv.
>>> So collaboration... I like that, but testing
>>> collaboration. No,  that sounds stupid.
>>> On Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 6:31 PM mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu
>>> <mailto:mcole@ucsd.edu>> wrote:
>>>    Perhaps the work of mike tomasello is relevant to this
>>>    discussion. I attach
>>>    one article. Interesting title, too.
>>>    mike
>>>    On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 8:32 AM, Andy Blunden
>>>    <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>> Collaboration has a whole spectrum in many different
>>>    directions. But I
>>>> think the conflict is an essential part of
>>>    collaboration. Collaboration is
>>>> unity and difference. Both are required or there is
>>>    no collaboration. The
>>>> "conflict" may be trivial, but then the moment of
>>>    collaboration is trivial
>>>> as well. And the learning is trivial.
>>>> I take collaboration as essentially between
>>>    distinct, i,e, mutually
>>>> independent subjects. If two people who are clones
>>>    of each other work
>>>> together on the same task, since their every thought
>>>    is identical there is
>>>> no conflict. Equally two employees, for example,
>>>    carrying out orders from
>>>> the same boss, work together, I don't see this as
>>>    collaboration. But these
>>>> are trivial limiting cases. All collaborators have
>>>    differences relevant to
>>>> the task at hand, and unless it is just a routine
>>>    division of labour (which
>>>> I call cooperation), or conflict is forbidden or
>>>    suppressed, there has to
>>>> be some conflict, some ripple on the waters.
>>>> Andy
>>>    ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>> On 19/04/2016 1:01 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>>>> Hi Larry and Andy,
>>>>> This issue of commitment is a difficult one.  If I
>>>    might bring in a
>>>>> little bit of Mark Granovetter and Everett Rogers,
>>>    marriage is a strong tie
>>>>> relationships.  Individuals make a commitment to
>>>    it, as Larry says, so that
>>>>> the relationship is sustainable through even
>>>    adversarial conflict, or does
>>>>> not collapse at the first sign of conflict.  But
>>>    most collaborations,
>>>>> especially those that lead to problem solving, are
>>>    based in weak tie
>>>>> networks.  Do we want to say that weak ties
>>>    networks can only lead to
>>>>> cooperation.  Isn't there something to
>>>    collaboration that allows
>>>>> individuals without a prior or even sustainable
>>>    relationship to come
>>>>> together to create change through evolutionary
>>>    disagreement that does not
>>>>> engender conflict?  Is that collaboration or is it
>>>    something else.
>>>>> Michael
>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> [mailto:
>>>>> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>    Lplarry
>>>>> Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 10:25 AM
>>>>> To: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>    <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>; eXtended Mind, Culture,
>>>    Activity <
>>>>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>>
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>>>> Andy,
>>>>> This introduction of the image of marriage as the
>>>    archetype of
>>>>> collaboration certainly opens the concept of
>>>    collaboration to multiple
>>>>> aspects of *engaging conflict* or *managing conflict*.
>>>>> To say collaboration is (like) marriage carries us
>>>    into a vast field of
>>>>> shared (and conflictual) meanings.
>>>>> Interesting how this image opens towards the
>>>    imaginal and then travels to
>>>>> distinguishing ZPD from scaffolding.
>>>>> To move from co-operation towards collaboration (as
>>>    marriage) is moving
>>>>> towards notions of *commitment* and *determinate
>>>    relations* that remain
>>>>> always *open to change* but within a continuing
>>>    commitment/collaboration.
>>>>> Marriage is a pregnant gestating image for engaging
>>>    the concept of
>>>>> collaboration. Marriage as socio-historically
>>>    meaningful.
>>>>> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>>>>> From: Andy Blunden
>>>>> Sent: April 18, 2016 5:58 AM
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>>>> The field is rife with different definitions; I
>>>    choose the set of
>>>>> definitions which suit the overall concept I am
>>>    developing. Can't do
>>>>> anything about that! But the issue of
>>>>> *conflict* is absolutely essential. Any co-called
>>>    collaboration in which
>>>>> conflict is either suppressed or organised away is
>>>    certainly not worthy of
>>>>> the name.
>>>>> That said, conflict has the potential always to
>>>    destroy a collaboration,
>>>>> and at the same time can be moderated so
>>>    successfully that it is positively
>>>>> enjoyable. The archetype of collaboration is
>>>    marriage, so we all know what
>>>>> this is about. Managing conflict is the most
>>>    essential element of
>>>>> collaboration, but that includes encouraging it as
>>>    well as moderating it.
>>>>> This issue has echoes of the ZPD vs "scaffolding"
>>>    question.
>>>>> Andy
>>>    ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>> On 18/04/2016 10:33 PM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Andy,
>>>>>> Thanks for your response.  I would like to put
>>>    aside the issue of
>>>>>> computers which I think is extraordinarily complex
>>>    (are we talking about
>>>>>> the Internet, or the Ethernet, or the Web, or
>>>    Artificial Intelligence or
>>>>>> Augmentation?  More and more I am feeling these
>>>    distinctions are critical).
>>>>>> But your post does refer to issues I am struggling
>>>    with.  There has been
>>>>>> a lot of talk of the difference between
>>>    cooperation and collaboration at a
>>>>>> number of levels.  Right now I think I like
>>>    Stephen Downes' distinction
>>>>>> which is cooperation is engaging in community work
>>>    for your own needs - so
>>>>>> you never really give yourself up to the learning
>>>    community, while
>>>>>> collaboration involves actually creating a
>>>    community.  Others I think see
>>>>>> collaboration as the development of shared meaning
>>>    while cooperation is
>>>>>> simply (shared isn't the right word, right?)
>>>    action towards a goal.  I
>>>>>> think both to a certain degree reflect your thinking.
>>>>>> I am interested in the idea of conflict, which I
>>>    think would be
>>>>>> antithetical to PISA's conception of
>>>    collaboration, they seem to be looking
>>>>>> to cut down on conflict as much as possible.  It
>>>    also seems to work against
>>>>>> a number of uses of collaboration in the field of
>>>    education.  Does Alfie
>>>>>> Kohn talk about collaboration - what would he say
>>>    about conflict.
>>>>>> So I'm thinking though these just working together
>>>    visions of
>>>>>> collaboration are missing that "something" and
>>>    conflict, as
>>>>>> counter-intuitive as it is to models of
>>>    collaboration might make sense.
>>>>>> But what do we mean by conflict.
>>>>>> Is it conflict between members of the
>>>    collaborative group or is it the
>>>>>> abilities of the collaborative group to see
>>>    conflict between their
>>>>>> solutions and the realities of the world around
>>>    them (I know, another
>>>>>> loaded phrase).
>>>>>> We also have a tendency to see conflict of
>>>    adversarial.  If there is one
>>>>>> thing I think collaboration is, it is
>>>    non-adversarial in nature.  So can
>>>>>> ideas be in conflict without individuals raising
>>>    those being adversarial
>>>>>> with each other.  What if people are adversarial
>>>    to each other and yet
>>>>>> still work together to accomplish important
>>>    things, or is this
>>>>>> cooperation?  Or is these another concept that
>>>    hasn't been defined, or
>>>>>> perhaps I am not grasping?
>>>>>> The danger with PISA's definition is there is
>>>    really no mechanism for
>>>>>> change.  Should collaboration have a mechanism for
>>>    change or innovation?
>>>>>> Thoughts running around my head.
>>>>>> MIchael
>>>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>    Andy Blunden
>>>>>> Sent: Sunday, April 17, 2016 9:10 PM
>>>>>> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>    <mailto:xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
>>>>>> "Collaboration" is a big word in my universe,
>>>    Michael, so I'll offer
>>>>>> some observations.
>>>>>> Collaboration as "together working" means
>>>    specifically working together
>>>>>> to a common object (aim). That generally entails
>>>    working together to change
>>>>>> an object-of-labour (/Arbeitsgegenstand/).
>>>>>> There is a lot of discussion about the difference
>>>    between Collaboration
>>>>>> and the etymologically identical Cooperation, much
>>>    of this is in the
>>>>>> "educational debate." As I see it, Collaboration
>>>    essentially involves both
>>>>>> cooperation and conflict. Conflict is also one
>>>    form or aspect of
>>>>>> collaboration, because the parties are working
>>>    towards two opposite
>>>>>> concepts of the same object. "Object" here
>>>    therefore has a slippery
>>>>>> meaning. It can mean the /Arbeitsgegenstand/, the
>>>    object worked upon, or
>>>>>> the Gegenstand, the object aimed for. Both ideas
>>>    incorporate the
>>>>>> possibility of difference.
>>>>>> Collaboration essentially involves the coming
>>>    together of distinct
>>>>>> parties (or subjects). True Collaboration involves
>>>    a merging of the
>>>>>> subjectivities for the course of a single project,
>>>    but there are "limiting
>>>>>> cases" of non-collaborative collaboration. These
>>>    include an exchange of
>>>>>> labour governed by a negotiation of a contract
>>>    (such as customer-service
>>>>>> provider in which the subjects retain their mutual
>>>    independence throughout)
>>>>>> and command-and-obey (in which one subject is
>>>    subordinated to another).
>>>>>> Cooperation does not imply conflict within the
>>>    working relationship
>>>>>> usually because there is a division of labour;
>>>    Collaboration on the other
>>>>>> hand involves each party taking a critical
>>>    attitude towards the
>>>>>> contribution of the other party. o conflict is an
>>>    essential ingredient to
>>>>>> Collaboration.
>>>>>> Collaboration is a learning process, to the extent
>>>    that one could argue
>>>>>> that learning can *only* be a Collaborative
>>>    process. So Collaboration means
>>>>>> that the object (aim) of the labour changes,
>>>    because the /concept /of the
>>>>>> object changes.
>>>>>> Collaborators learn about the object (worked upon)
>>>    in the process of
>>>>>> working on it, and the object (aim) by realising it.
>>>>>> In education there has been an unfortunate
>>>    development in which (1)
>>>>>> students work independently because they are
>>>    physically or organisationally
>>>>>> distant, (2) Collaboration between the students is
>>>    then facilitated by the
>>>>>> use of computer and communication equipment, (3)
>>>    Students who are already
>>>>>> face-to-face are obliged to introduce a computer
>>>    between them so that their
>>>>>> collaboration, instead of being face-to-face,
>>>    mediated only by the
>>>>>> /Arbeitsgegenstand/, they now find their
>>>    Collaboration mediated by a
>>>>>> computer. That is, "Collaboration" has come to
>>>    mean the undermining of
>>>>>> Collaboration by the use of Collaborative tools to
>>>    avoid closer
>>>>>> collaboration.
>>>>>> And this is the danger. The education bureaucracy
>>>    has heard a bit about
>>>>>> the benefits of Collaboration as a learning
>>>    process, and that Collaboration
>>>>>> requires equipment. So they get the idea that they
>>>    have to separate
>>>>>> students or researchers from one another so that
>>>    they can collaborate.
>>>>>> Once separated the bureaucacy can provide
>>>    equipment to allow students
>>>>>> to Collaborate notwithstanding their having been
>>>    separated from one
>>>>>> another. And the same goes for
>>>>>> students+teachers, research+industry,
>>>    management+workers, etc.
>>>>>> Does that help, Michael?
>>>>>> Andy
>>>    ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
>>>    <http://home.pacific.net.au/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>> On 18/04/2016 6:38 AM, Glassman, Michael wrote:
>>>>>>> Hello all,
>>>>>>> I have a question for anybody who might be
>>>    willing to respond. How do
>>>>>>> you define collaboration?  What spurs this
>>>    question is that PISA is
>>>>>>> developing a framework for testing collaboration
>>>    internationally.  At first
>>>>>>> I thought I was getting punked, but it really is
>>>    happening, the framework
>>>>>>> is at the link below.   The idea of collaboration
>>>    is being used more and
>>>>>>> more - especially in contexts that involve
>>>    computer/web based research, but
>>>>>>> it often times seems to be a placeholder. The
>>>    word only came into vogue
>>>>>>> late nineteenth century I think -  col meaning
>>>    together and labore meaning
>>>>>>> to labor.  A lot of people who discuss
>>>    collaboration invoke Vygotsky (e.g.
>>>>>>> the PISA framework) or sometimes Dewey (Although
>>>    I am kind of sure Dewey
>>>>>>> never actually used the word collaboration, but
>>>    I  might be wrong).  Anyway
>>>>>>> the PISA document defines collaboration but in a
>>>    very simplistic way I
>>>>>>> think so that it is not wrong but not helpful.  I
>>>    know there was some
>>>>>>> research around language (being able
>>>>>>  to
>>>>>>    create shared meanings).  But so far to me it
>>>    seems to miss the
>>>>>>> point, but I can't think what I would replace it
>>>    with.  I guess you could
>>>>>>> call this a request for comments.  I find PISA
>>>    creating a test for
>>>>>>> collaboration kind of dangerous.
>> https://www.oecd.org/pisa/pisaproducts/Draft%20PISA%202015%20Collabor
>>>>>>> a tive%20Problem%20Solving%20Framework%20.pdf
>>>>>>> Michael
>>>    --
>>>    It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural
>>>    science with an object
>>>    that creates history. Ernst Boesch