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ME304: Engineering Communication

Unit 3: Collaborative Writing   Communication and collaboration go hand-in-hand.  We begin this unit with a brief discussion of the process of collaborative writing; this process is just a generalization of that which one would employ if working alone.  We then explore some formal tools for collaboration. In particular you will gain experience with computer based systems which permit multiple authors and editors to work on a document simultaneously (or nearly so) from remote locations. 

Unit 3 Time Advisory
This unit should take you 11 hours to complete.

☐    Subunits 3.1: 5 hours

☐    Subunit 3.2: 5 hours

☐    End of Unit Self-Assessment: 1 hour

Unit3 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Collaborate effectively for group document preparation. - Employ effective prewriting strategies, such as listing and brainstorming. - Employ systematic proofreading and revision methods. - Identify and use appropriate computer based tools for collaborative document preparation.

3.1 The Process   3.1.1 Collaborative Writing   - Reading: University of Pittsburgh: Michael Spring’s “Collaboration and Collaborative Authoring” and “Collaborative Writing”

Links: University of Pittsburgh: Michael Spring’s “[Collaboration
and Collaborative
Authoring](http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~spring/cas/node30.html)” (HTML)
and “[Collaborative
Writing](http://www.sis.pitt.edu/~spring/cas/node31.html)” (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Read the two articles, and identify collaboration
strategies among those listed that you have used in the past. 
Identify advantages and disadvantages of the seven organizational
patterns for collaborative authoring listed in the resource.  
    
 Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the page above.

3.1.2 Prewriting Strategies   - Reading: Texas A&M; Writing Center’s “Brainstorming”

Link: Texas A&M Writing Center’s
“[Brainstorming](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ME304-3.1.2.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read the webpage in its entirety.  The prewriting
strategies discussed can be loosely categorized by the topics listed
in subunits 3.1.3.1—3.1.3.3. Perform each of these exercises for the
topic of energy conservation.  You may pursue the topic wherever the
exercises lead you.  
    
 Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).  It is
attributed to the Texas A&M Writing Center and can be viewed in its
original form
[here](http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/2010/composing-process/brainstorming-prewriting/brainstorming/).

3.1.2.1 Brainstorming or Listing   3.1.2.2 Clustering and Organizing   3.1.2.3 Free–writing and Looping   3.1.3 Editing and Revision   - Reading: Texas A&M; Writing Center’s “Revising and Proofreading”

Link: Texas A&M Writing Center’s “[Revising and
Proofreading](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ME304-3.1.3.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read the webpage.  Find three ways in which the text
of the page could be improved.  
    
 Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).  It is
attributed to the Texas A&M Writing Center and can be viewed in its
original form
[here](http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/2005/composing-process/editing-revising-proofreading/revising-and-proofreading/).

3.2 Tools   3.2.1 Review of Current Tools (as of 2011)   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Collaborative Writing”

Link: Wikipedia: “[Collaborative
Writing](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Collaborative-writing.pdf)”
(PDF)  
               
 Instructions: Please read the entire article.  
    
 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0 ](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)(HTML).  You
can find the original Wikipedia version of this article
[here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Collaborative_writing) (HTML).
  • Reading: Kolabora’s (Robin Good) “Collaborative Writing Tools and Technology: A Mini-Guide”

    Link: Kolabora’s (Robin Good) “Collaborative Writing Tools and Technology: A Mini-Guide” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Read this webpage and make notes of features of current, computer-based, collaborative writing tools.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.2 Wiki Documents   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Wiki”

Link: Wikipedia:
“[Wiki](http://www.saylor.org/site/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Wiki.pdf)”
(PDF)  
    
 Instructions: Read this article in its entirety.  Pay attention to
details of security. Create or edit a document on a wiki entry (on,
for example, Wikipedia, or Citizendium) for your current home
area.  
    
 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) (HTML).  You
can find the original Wikipedia version of this article
[here](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki) (HTML).
  • Reading: MediaWiki’s “How Does MediaWiki Work?”

    Link: MediaWiki’s “How Does MediaWiki Work?” (PDF)
     
    Instructions: Read this webpage and subordinate links in order to learn how vandalism is controlled in the wiki environment.  What are the benefits of having open access to document editing?
     
    Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here.

3.2.3 Google Docs   3.2.3.1 Document, Spreadsheet, and Drawing Support   - Web Media: YouTube: Google’s “Google Docs in Plain English”

Link: YouTube: Google’s “[Google Docs in Plain
English](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRqUE6IHTEA&feature=related)”
(YouTube)

 

Instructions: View the brief video presentation (about 3 minutes). 
What document formats are supported?

 

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

3.2.3.2 Multiple Simultaneous Editor Support   - Reading: Google’s “Collaborating: Simultaneous Editing and Viewing”

Link: Google’s “[Collaborating: Simultaneous Editing and
Viewing](http://support.google.com/drive/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2494891&from=44680&rd=1)”
(HTML)

                       

Instructions: Read the page and subordinate links.  What are
advantages and disadvantages of simultaneous editing and viewing?

 

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.

Unit 3 Assessment   - Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME304: Unit 3 Quiz”

Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “[ME304: Unit 3
Quiz](http://school.saylor.org/mod/quiz/view.php?id=913)” (HTML)  
    
 Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.  
    
 You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in
order to access this exam.  If you do not yet have an account, you
will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the
link.