One key experience of human work, life, and play is people working together on a common goal. Yet this aspect of working together does not have one primary recognizable instantiation of what it means to work together. Words like collaboration and cooperation are often used to describe such instances, but even words like ‘collaboration’ don’t always have a neat formula for working through a collaboration. In this article we examine and reflect on our own collaborative experiences as a research group. We do this through an examination of past experiences, and through a method of writing that developed in our group. We have called this type of writing a ‘swarm,’ and we explore our working together, and swarm writing, as a new type of collaborative instantiation that allows scholars, their research, and their tools and processes to self-organize as complex, open systems.


swarm writing, actor network theory, collaborative research, collaboration, distance education



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