As composition instructors, we most likely ask our students to collaborate in our classes. Perhaps we ask them to read each other’s writing and provide feedback or complete a group project or presentation. We may also collaborate with our colleagues on effective teaching strategies and assignments. Collaboration, in fact, may seem so second nature to some composition instructors that it seems almost unusual to specify all of the collaborative practices that they engage in.
Collaboration, however, offers many important opportunities for basic writing students and instructors that go beyond the everyday collaborative practices that we employ in our classrooms. Basic writing students are often labeled as “underprepared,” “remedial,” or “developmental.” What, then, are the best practices that high school and college-level instructors can employ to prepare students for writing at the college level? Collaboration may offer some important answers to this question. Through investigating collaboration between high school and college composition instructors and implementation of learning communities for basic writing students, we feel we have developed some strong starting points for further study into this question.