Nonacademic Writing: Social Theory and Technology

By Ann Hill Duin; Craig J. Hansen | Go to book overview

create, reflect on, and exchange ideas and viewpoints through interactive dialoguing and sharing. One need only look at the wealth of collaborative software during the past few years to understand that depersonalized, individual nonacademic writing environments are being reshaped and transformed. Individually focused cognitive models of writing governing attention during the past decade ( Flower & Hayes, 1981) will give way to context-sensitive models, and technology once feared to extend our solitary working styles will instead counter workplace disconnectedness.

What emerges as ultimately critical are analyses of how writing tools complement each other at the four levels we outlined as well as specific comparisons of the benefits of different workplace collaboration tools. As tools evolve and their availability increases, the boundaries of writing models change significantly, enabling people to find opportunities to reprocess their ideas whether at the word, self, knowledge, or collaborative level without deliberate reflection on the technology; it will be woven into the basic fabric of one's work culture as well as society ( Weiser, 1991). Before that occurs, we need to create, build, and share innovative models for writing for the workplace. If Bolter ( 1991), Galegher et al. ( 1990), Greif ( 1988), and Schrage ( 1990) are correct in predicting where new technological tools are steering the research, changing structures for computer-supported collaborative work, social interaction, the sharing of minds, and intellectual teamwork are all bound to increase in the workplace.

Although this transformation has not gone unnoticed, those who train future leaders for nonacademic environments need to point out the different levels of writing tools. Nonacademic writing environments will continue to be altered and shaped by ingenious technologies, simultaneously addressing writing problems as well as heightening connections between writers. Hopefully, our model of the social and cognitive processing in writing can shed light on the consequences of who is involved in various writing environments, what level of information is being attended to, and the timing of these acts in terms of the writing efforts.


REFERENCES

Adams D., Carlson H., & Hamm M. ( 1990). Cooperative learning & educational media. Collaborating with technology and each other. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications.

Andrews J. D., & Sigband N. B. ( 1984). "How effectively does the new accountant communicate? Perceptions by practitioners and academics". Journal of Business Communication, 21( 2), 15-24.

Beason L. ( 1993). "Feedback and revision in writing across the curriculum classes". Research in the Teaching of English, 27( 4), 395-422.

Bolter J. D. ( 1991). Writing space: The computer, hypertext, and the history of writing.

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