Strang(er) Places: Collaborative Creativity in Real and Virtual Spaces

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Tanya Perkins


In the writing classroom, collaborative learning often takes the form of co-authoring, peer workshops or critique sessions. While useful, what other active learning approaches might be effective, particularly in light of the range of media with which students are increasingly familiar? World-building—creation of an alternative/speculative or futuristic land, world or universe—offers an approach to fiction writing amenable to both creative collaboration and digital modalities. This article examines how a team-based world-building project in an advanced writing course engenders creative-making through active learning and collaboration;  builds upon the multi-modalities and genres through which many students already engage with fiction (video, online and/or fantasy role-playing games, horror, speculative and science fiction); and leverages both physical and virtual space as creative collaborative environments.  With this approach, students in a seated class team up to create original alternative worlds in an online environment--including production of both digital and physical artifacts--within which their own (individual) stories are set. The result is movement between real and virtual space, as well as between shared creative acts and personal imaginative writing.


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How to Cite
Perkins, T. (2019). Strang(er) Places: Collaborative Creativity in Real and Virtual Spaces. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 8(1), 99–107.
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Author Biography

Tanya Perkins, Faculty

Tanya Perkins is an assistant professor of English and coordinator of creative writing at Indiana University East, where she teaches fiction, composition, and professional/technical writing.  She earned an MA at Western Washington University and an MFA at Murray State University.  Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Fiction Southeast, The Raleigh Review, Big Muddy, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Forge, Certain Circuits, Arcadia, Emrys and others.  Her chapbook People are Naturally Attracted to You was published by WTAW Press in March 2018. She is fiction editor at Sliver of Stone and currently working on a collection of interlinked short stories.