OpenEd Proposal 2015

draft 6 Apr 2015

Patterns of Writing in a Fed Wiki Class

Here we consider how FedWiki changes how we go about writing.

Writing Strategies in a Fed Wiki Class

A commonplace in writing instruction says that the tool changes the process in noteworthy ways. Users have to learn how to operate the new writing tool. But they also have to adapt and devise writing strategies to suit the affordances and constraints of the tool as well as the social interactions the new tool creates. Users of the first wikis developed ThreadMode and DocumentMode as one strategy for organizing their collective work. Federated Wiki, now in development, makes similar demands on users to adapt and develop strategies for collective writing. This presentation takes a first look at some of the writing strategies participants used in the Teaching Machines Happening. The aim is to get a sense of the issues for teaching new and alternative strategies for collective composing this new writing space.


As a participant in the Teaching Machines Happening, and a long-time user of traditional wikis, it struck me that there was much that is new.

Start with Englebart et al's notion that to evaluate on ease of use sidesteps the value of FedWiki. There are a number of applications that are not immediately easy to use - and we should be suspicious of those that are if they promise anything new. FedWiki creates a new way of doing things, of thinking about writing, and that promises to be a challenge.

FedWiki is a significantly new space for composing that influences how we go about daily professional and scholarly practices in writing. You get that from the first. And it has to be learned. There are rhetorical and cognitive issues at play.

"[t]his labour-intensive workflow is exactly what's beginning to make fedwiki a valuable slow practice for me (taking into account that slow technology might not fully capture the dimensions of practice that interest us). To me it also introduces an ethical dimension that I've found completely surprising." K Bowles 18 Feb

"The benefit, imo, of SFW is the ease of note sharing. The huge downsides are the time it takes to learn how to make the notes, and the difficulty of sharing them with those who do not have their own SFW. S Honeychurch 10 Mar

Might come at this as a new space or as a "we have to think about how we're using it to gain control.

Fed Wiki also provides the opportunity to re-think what we're doing when we write in networked environments.

notes from 4 apr hangout

We of the summary as a chorus of voices

Remix at the center of the dream

look for the remix post from mike

why are we forking our notes just to share? to see variations and scenarios

has to be confirmed sociologically.

Look a what's getting picked up and changed. What's getting overlooked or left alone.

We'll be developing and refining personas who will be the imagined actors as we develop more advanced uses cases. (Shift-click to see multiple personas.)

Writing for sharing/forking

Writing to extend notes off other pages

I noticed that Ward creates a new wiki for a presentation. does he re-write what he gathers from other wikis, and it's pretty much, No, he might edit to suit rather than full-scale refactoring of content. This is a remix.

Creating a new site for a new perspective

We show off old and new ways to copy while telling a story of different interests cooperating without losing their own identities.