Paul Gestwicki and I have recently published some results from last year’s work in developing and studying an application that traced and visualized contribution and edit histories in Google Docs. Our short paper was published in the proceedings of the Learning Analytics and Knowledge conference last week. I’ve included a pre-publication version of the manuscript below.
Working on this was a really fascinating experience; our in-process work was mentioned in the 2011 Horizon Report, and our focus on learning analytics for collaborative writing gained some attention from Educause—we presented our findings during their spring 2012 focus session on Learning Analytics a couple of weeks before the LAK presentation.
I want to thank Holden Hill and Phil Parli-Horne for their contributions to the project. Holden and Phil were undergraduate honors fellows that did the bulk of the technical development of our prototype. I also thank Erika Johnson, a former Ball State doctoral student, who helped me conduct fieldwork for our study of the prototype among computer science students.
We’re working on two more outputs from this study—one for the computer science education community and one for the computers and writing community. So, more to come! Please let us know what you think of the project!