You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2008.

I’ve been using Google docs quite a bit this year, and I’ve noticed that in the last couple of months they’ve added some features that increase their attractiveness quite a bit to me.

You’ve been able to publish your documents to the web for some time so that anyone can view them.  But recently the function of making the documents able to be edited by anyone has been added.  In my mind this provides the openness that makes wikis so attractive with the usability that has always been an issue.

I’m now considering moving all of my development to the Google docs platform.  Can anyone think of any reasons why this wouldn’t be a good idea?

I’ve just converted one of my wiki pages over to two different Google presentation formats.  Here they are as a comparison

  1. Wiki page
  2. Google document version
  3. Google presentation version

Which do you like better?

Google docs have also recently release a survey form which shows promise as a formative testing programme, but it doesn’t yet do what I want it to.  I’m sure that within a year they’ll have something that does the job.

I’ve been using collaborative document editing a lot with my students this year, and while this has been one of my more successful educational experiments, referencing is a problem.

The issue occurs because I would like my students to correctly reference their sources using APA referencing (the gold standard in the health professions), however it’s also important that they record their contributions.   Typically when a document is published, the authors write their names at the top either in order of contributional significance or status.  When many authors are collaboratively editing the same document merely recording the authors names at the top of the document as an author is really insufficient.

If student A comes along & contributes 2/3 of the content, student B contributes most of the rest, and students C-G make merely superficial changes, why should all of them be given equal credit for this work?  It seems that there’s a need for each contribution to be referenced according to both the original source of the material, and the contributor of that information to the collaborative document editing project.

So far, I’m at a bit of a loss as to how this can be achieved, but it seems that the old style of referencing doesn’t stack up to these new methods of document creation.  Perhaps we need an APA 2.0, or something new altogether.

I’d be interested to hear about anyone else’s experiences and/or thoughts on this matter.