I enjoyed the process of collaborating with classmates during in-class writing because it gave me the opportunity to simulate the kind of work that is done in academia at a higher level in that many academic journals require peer review or when scholars publish books or articles, their colleagues react to their writing. Thus, by working with others and responding to their writing or working with them, it made me feel like a real scholar and also gave me a deeper appreciation that scholarly writing is not done for the benefit of the individual writer, but for the purpose of allowing others to see it and respond to it. Responding to a colleague’s work in the first in-class assignment was interesting because I was able to discover new angles and fresh perspectives about texts that we have read. It furthered my own understanding of the text and gave me a greater appreciation for various styles of writing. The main issue with this assignment was the time constraint, because I had to complete my own three questions, then read a colleague’s question and formulate a response. Even though I initially did not like that we had to complete so many tasks within such a short time frame, I now realize that this assignment forced us to develop our time management skill, which is critical for scholarly work because deadlines are inevitable. In retrospect, this assignment could have been improved if we spent half the time writing our own responses and the remaining time critiquing our classmates. Thus, instead of answering three questions and responding to only one colleague, it would have been nice to answer two questions and then respond to two questions from colleagues.
For the second writing assignment, it was helpful to work with a partner because we were able to share ideas and use prior knowledge to elucidate our reading of the text. However, working together was a bit more time consuming because we had to liaise about the organization, structure and transitions, whereas if we were working independently we would have done this quicker. Once again, this was still beneficial because it forced us to use our time wisely so that we would have ample time to complete the assignment with the quality of which we both approved. Thus, to sum up, collaborative writing assignments were helpful because reading the work of others and working with others allowed me to gain new insights about texts and it also helped me to sharpen my time management skill.