Using Google Docs to develop Year 9 pupils’ essay-writing skills

Teaching History article

By Lucy Moonen, published 5th February 2016

Developing essay-writing skills

Lucy Moonen set out to explore whether collaborative writing in small groups, facilitated by the use of Google Docs, would help to sustain students’ focus on essay writing as the development of an historical argument.

She explains how she set up an essay on the League of Nationals as a collaborative task and demonstrates how the technology enabled her to monitor students’ contributions, as well as making it easier for them to respond to suggestions for further development. She also identifies ways in which the basic strategy could be more fully exploited both to strengthen students’ engagement with historians’ arguments and to ensure fuller participation by all members of the class.

Lucy Moonen is a history teacher and Assistant Head (Teaching & Learning) at Radnor House School (7-18, independent), Twickenham.

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