This wiki is a space for post-secondary writing instructors who wish to, or who currently, incorporate collaborative writing assignments into wholly online writing courses. We aim to put forward “best practices” for teaching collaborative writing online and to keep building on these practices as new knowledge and experience permit.

We shouldn’t expect to come up with what Ede and Lunsford (1990) term “complete definitive guidelines”—nor will we (or should we) claim that a certain set of practices fits all situations. That would be too perfect. However, as Palloff and Pratt (2005) point out, “[v]ery few guidelines currently exist for collaboration in the online environment, although there is a great deal of interest surrounding the idea” (p. 9). Yet, since the late 1990s or even earlier, scores of writing instructors have been working in the trenches, many in relative isolation, concocting numerous “best practices” for online collaborative writing that we’d all find useful and beneficial ... if only we knew about them.

Consider this an invitation to add your favourite theories and practical strategies for successful collaborative writing assignments. Also consider sharing ideas that weren’t so successful; we’ll benefit equally well from knowing about those experiences too.
About the wiki creator and contributors ...


Ede, L., & Lunsford, A. (1990). Singular texts/plural authors: Perspectives on collaborative writing. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learning together in community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.