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Collaborative Writing Across English Proficiencies: Using Professionals' Experiences in the Workplace to Scaffold Students' Teamwork Practices

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posted on 04.05.2022, 18:22 by Maria FeuerMaria Feuer

 When co-writing on linguistically diverse teams, team members have the potential to  engage in perspective sharing and perspective taking, which can produce more innovative and  creative texts. At the same time, linguistically diverse teams can often reproduce some of the  worst inequities in our society, such as domineering teammates, discrimination and  undervaluation, distrust and degradation of status, exclusion from group participation,  stereotyping, and increased anxieties during interactions. It is, therefore, no surprise that  students often feel anxiety when collaborating on linguistically diverse teams. The objective of  this dissertation is to explore a team pedagogy that encourages students to overcome their  anxieties about language differences and more productively collaborate with their diverse peers.  Using interviews and survey data, I created and piloted pedagogical material that aims to  help students better collaborate on their diverse teams. Specifically, in Chapter 1, I reevaluated  the ways that the field of professional and technical writing teaches teamwork in the classroom.  In Chapter 2, I interviewed professionals who frequently collaborate on linguistically diverse  teams to explore best practices commonly used by experts in the field. In Chapter 3, I revised  the Team Communication workshop from a traditional approach into a flipped model, where  students were given a chance to reflect on and individually interact with the teamwork strategies  on their own terms. In order to address students’ challenges with having difficult conversations  about language and feedback, in Chapter 4, I created a flipped approach that scaffolds the team  charter document and helps students overcome the anxieties around discussing different values,  goals, and needs. My findings show that students self-reported an increased use of team  planning strategies, and their team documents show an increased use of empathetic discourse  towards their peers. This dissertation contributes to the fields of rhetoric and professional and  technical communication by offering teachers concrete tools that they can use to support the  exchange of diverse perspectives in the classroom.   




Degree Type




Degree Name

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Joanna Wolfe

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