Across Curriculums and Cultures:
Online Collaboration Among Swedish and American Students
Fall Semester 2003
Gustafsson, Chalmers Lindholmen University College, Gothenburg,
Tidewater Community College, Virginia, USA
Art Young, Clemson University,
South Carolina, USA
Thank you for participating in this international online conversation
among students from one Swedish university, one
American university, and one American
academic levels and subjects.
We believe this letter exchange will increase your understanding of
the role that writing and communication play in your life and the lives
of others. Our instructional goal is to understand some of the common
facing writers in our various locations and situations and then to
look ahead to some broader issues of composing with an emphasis on technological
and global communication.
Please address your messages to each other as informal letters to the
members of your group. Use an appropriate greeting and closing – whatever
feels comfortable to you.
Descriptions of the topics for your four letters appear below. Follow
the Claroline Directions link for details
about locating your group and using the discussion board. You may also
want to read brief descriptions of the Participating
Classes and Colleges.
Magnus Gustafsson, Chalmers Lindholmen University College, Gothenburg, Sweden
Donna Reiss, Tidewater Community College, Virginia, USA
Art Young, Clemson University, South Carolina, USA
Letter 1: November 5
Letter 1, approximately 350 words, addressed to everybody in
the group and submitted by November 5, 11:59 p.m.
Describe an experience that illustrates your perception of yourself
as a writer, perhaps a situation in which writing was challenging
or exciting or otherwise important. As you reflect on that experience,
what were your expectations about yourself as a writer and what
was the outcome of the experience?
Include within your letter one or two sentences that introduce you
to the group, for example, your name, which class you are taking, and
your academic interest or emphasis.
Letter 2: November 9
Letter 2, approximately 350 words, addressed to everybody in the
group and submitted by November 9, 11:59 p.m.
Read the letters from all the members of your group and write
a personal response about some of the issues raised there. In your
Letter 2, addressed to your entire group, refer specifically to
at least two members of the group by name, identifying the elements
of their letters that were of particular interest to you. Comment
on ways in which their experiences are similar to and/or
different from your own.
Before you compose your Letter 2, first read any second letters
already posted by groupmates. Try to cite two groupmates whose
Letter 1 submissions have not already been cited by others when
you compose your own Letter 2.
Letter 3: November 11
Letter 3, approximately 350 words, addressed to everybody in the
group and submitted by November 11, 11:59 p.m.
Read the second letters from all the members of your group. Based on the letters
and your own further thinking, speculate on the impact that communication
technology is having and will have on the kinds of writing experiences you
and your group have had in the past and may have in the future. Think in
particular of communication in local, national, and global contexts.
into your letter:
- at least one reference to a groupmate’s Letter 2 and
- at least one reference to a Website that addresses one or more
of the issues
raised by you and/or others. Copy-paste the entire Web address
including http:// and leave a space before and after so that
board will post it as an active link for your readers to follow.
Analysis and Reflection:
Analysis of and Reflection on the conversation, approximately
350 words addressed to everybody in the group and submitted by
Read the third letters from members of your group.
Then reflect on the exchange of three
letters among members of your group and speculate on
topics for your Analysis and Reflection include:
are some similarities and differences among the writers in different
locations and as an audience for writing? What interested you?
What surprised you? What troubled you? What are some benefits
and drawbacks of a letter exchange that uses a Web discussion board?
What have you learned about your own expectations about writing
for a distant and diverse audience?
for educational purposes only
Website developed 2001 by D. Reiss and modified
16 May 2004 by D. Reiss