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Writing for the Web will include a collaborative writing project in conjunction with a real client. During collaborative writing projects in the past, I've used team blogs to monitor team members' input and the activities members are pursuing to complete their tasks. In addition, I've asked students to evaluate their own and their team members' performances.

However, given the fact that students in Writing for the Web will be blogging individually over the course of the semester, I'm not sure a team blog is the right answer. I will definitely keep the evaluation, but I'm hesitating over the blog. At that point in the semester, students should be comfortable with blogging, but it might just be too much work. According to The Bioteaming Manifesto, technology might impede collaborative efforts despite the promise of technology to increase team performance.

Granted, Ken Thompson and Robin Good see the conflict with technology in terms of individuals having to learn the technology before they can work with it, and my students will have the knowledge they need to succeed. Still, I'm wavering.

I need some way to effectively monitor team progress throughout the semester, and emails might do it, but again, it would be the same amount of work for the student with additional work for myself. And while some team blogs in the past have functioned well, not all team members contribute to the blog, despite being graded on it. However, they do complete the class work.

I'm open to suggestions, because I would like to monitor individual group member's contributions to the project overall and to monitor the team as an "entity," as The BioTeaming Manifesto suggests. Also, I would like more control over individual grades rather than a straight group grade, so if someone should end up carrying all of the work, there are sanctions in place for each part of the project. Any ideas?

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