From the always useful Jane's elearning picks I came across MixedInk. It's a tool to promote collaboration to produce joint documents. Before you raise eyebrows and say 'not another one,' bear with me. It has some neat features – you are working towards a definite goal document, it has time limits to focus effort, but most intriguingly it positively wants you to take and adapt the text of other writers. As you type it finds similar phrases from other contributers, and you can add these in. Each submission can be voted on, so you can see which are the most popular/useful. And then when the document is finalised it shows which writers contributed each element.
This has collaborative assessment written all over it. You can easily imagine setting a group assignment and using MixedInk to produce it. Students can jointly create the document, and the role of each contributer is clearly visible. This is beginning to get at creating real affordances for collaboration, which are often lacking in the standard wiki. By suggesting other bits of text the tool is encouraging plagiarism, but in a good way. Using tools like this will be the way we can make assessment relevant to learners who work collaboratively in every other sphere of their lives.
I am about to try and kick of an experiment in crowdsourcing, mass contribution around understanding learning in a 2.0/participatory/digital/social world, so I've set up a quick trial with MixedInk to try and determine what the key questions are – I'll blog more about this later, but if you fancy having a play with MixedInk, here is my big education questions doc.
And here is the company's video explaining the technology: