Wednesday, April 29, 2009

E-tivity 7

Uffa! Respecting referencing conventions (and learning about Google Docs)

Probably the most frustrating, time-consuming activity in finalizing your academic work is respecting the IPR that we discussed in E-tivity 6. Although it may often seem absurd to have to respect 'conventions' for referencing, like the MLA and APA styles that we've looked at, it is a key aspect of respectable academic and professional work, be it digital or paper. Nobody said it was fun, or interesting, but it's something we have to learn. Unfortunately, as much as we may be effective in using social bookmarking and other tools, we often find ourselves ready to complete our text without having correctly dealt with the references. The focus of this week's activity is how to finalize a text with correct references.

Purpose: To work on learning how to reference correctly.

Task: My colleague Francesca Helm and I are currently editing a book and writing chapters for a book on Telecollaboration 2.0. Writing a chapter for a book is much like writing a thesis or dissertation (BTW, it appears you, my students, were right that 'thesis' in America tends to refer to an MA while in Britain it refers to a PhD and for 'dissertation' vice versa). What often happens is that you write, write, write and then you have to 'fix up' the references. I am going to give you an early draft of the Introduction to the book and ask you in groups to check the references using the various online sources we have looked at in class. At the same time, we will learn to use Google Docs - a very useful site to have your documents always online and to share and edit them with peers. As always, if you are in class, you should be able to complete the task in class. Otherwise, complete it online.

1 – Go to Google Docs and make sure you can see the documents I have shared with you: "Hello all" and "E-tivity 7".

2 - I have divided the references part of the text into 8 sources for each group. First correct the referencing based on the APA style. It's useful to have multiple windows open to do this task. You may also have to do some searches on the Internet to find all of the correct information. To do this you can use google advanced search, google books and the other sources we've looked at together. It may not always be easy to find what you're looking for and that's part of the task!

3 - Once you've got the references sorted out, try and find them in the text and correct the in-text citations. Again, it may not be easy but...Use the APA style again.

4 - Write a reflective blogging post on how you think Google Docs could be useful for you and your studies.

N.B. For those of you who used the wiki last semester, I'd just like to point out some differences between a wiki and Google Docs. A wiki is a site with many different pages that anyone can edit. Google Docs is an invite-only service which you can use to privately share documents with peers and colleagues. On a wiki, only one user can edit a page at a time. On Google Docs, more than one user can edit the same page at a time. When you are editing a page at the same time, you should see who is editing it with you. When doing this, once you've entered text, just save and refresh and the new text will appear.

Respond: The usual :-) Overall, you did a great job responding to E-tivity 6!

Timeline: Sunday, May 3 (task), Wednesday, May 6 (respond).

P.S. Once you all have completed the task I will share our final version with you so that you can compare it with yours :-)


Giorgia said...

Hi Sarah,
sorry for my absence...problems of transport!!! :(

BTW, yesterday I received your e-mail for joining Google Docs and take a look to 'Hello all'. Unfortunately I can't find 'E-tivity 7' in my shared documents...

Could you help me to solve the problem?

Thank you in advance.


Lamericaana said...

I've added you now so let me know!


Arianna said...

Hi Sarah!
I made some corrections to the reference list of group 1 and then I shared the whole with my peers and you! Can you see if the sharing works?
Thank you. Buon ponte di primo Maggio!!!
Bye Arianna:)

Giorgia said...


I found everything...Tanx!

Bye Bye

MartinaC. said...

Hi Sarah,
I worked on the file you shared with my peers during last Wednesday lesson. Sharing a file on Google Docs is simply saving the file with the corrections we made? If one of my peers completed the corrections and everything is correct now, am I supposed to do anything?
Moreover, I had some problems with Internet connection these days and I couldn't complete the task before now. I'm going to publish the reflecting post in few minutes!

Lamericaana said...

@Martina, yes, you've understood correctly. If your peers completed the corrections and saved them, then your group's part is done. See you tomorrow.