Re: cooperative opposites

Claudine Keenan (cgk4@PSU.EDU)
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 17:36:21 -0400

At 15:44 31.07.96 -0500, Barry Maid wrote:
>I think I find myself agreeing with you. One of the reasons I am fascinated
>by MOOs are that they lead to a collaborative narrative thread. However, I
>really do think that there are times when we need to take turns. That's hard
>to do in MOO. There are times when folks really need to write a paragraph

My fyc students just dealt with this today, while working on their final
paper for the summer. They met in moos during all six weeks (you were there
once, if I remember correctly) to collaborate on mostly invention
activities, but today, after brainstorming in there, they decided to
separate into small teams, where each team wrote a paragraph on a word
processor, then they all rejoined the moo to revise. We use a pretty easy
client called MudWin that lets us paste a whole paragraph into the moo,
where all of them could tinker with one text at the same time. They
realized pretty early on that they had to abstain from the usual chattiness
and emoting that hallmarks their moo behavior because the paragraph kept
scrolling off if they wasted lines. So they were very focused, and very

They ran into trouble when it was time to look for larger issues, like their
overall organizational strategy and their paragraph transitions, so for
these, they pasted all of the revised paragraphs out from the moo and onto
our class listserv and kept the paper open on another window while they
mooed the larger-scale concerns to each other. Again, their fast-paced
behaviors in the moo resumed when the text was removed and fixed in a
different screen.

>With twenty or more folks in the Cafe, that becomes most difficult.

But your last point is perhaps the best taken here, Barry. My little
collaborative group consisted of only 8 students--don't quite know how it
would have flown with 20 or more, but I'm sure they'd have to break up.
Even my 8 found it necessary to split off when it was time to draft each

I'll have their finished paper (What We Did On Our Summer Vacations or How
We Learned to Write in the MOO) up on our website later tonight, if anyone's
interested to see what they had to say about all of this.

Claudine Keenan
Penn State Allentown
Director, Pennsylvania Epiphany Project