When human subjects become cybersubjects: A call for collaborative consent

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Abstract

This essay treats the proliferation of online collaboration as a rationale for rethinking human subjects ethics in composition. Specifically, I argue that the Conference on College Composition and Communication's research guidelines for the ethical treatment of students and student writing are grounded in an individualist ethos that is an inadequate frame for researching contemporary writing pedagogy. As a result, teacher-researchers who seek students' informed consent for participation in a research study may inadvertently encourage students to view their writing as individual property, a vision of authorship not representative of the field's discursive values. As a corrective, I propose that composition scholars develop a guideline for soliciting students' collaborative consent. In addition to addressing a practical concern regarding the study of collaborative production in virtual and print contexts, collaborative consent has the potential to do important ideological work by sanctioning collaboration and validating students' extracurricular digital literacies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)462-477
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Composition
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 26 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language

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