Posted on

Benefits and drawbacks of remote faculty writing groups

Four faculty members at Sam Houston State University – Elizabeth Lee, Kristina Vargo, Rebecca Wentworth, and William Blackwell – shared the results of their study on the utility of writing groups. The study included a qualitative analysis of faculty members’ participation and perceptions of faculty writing groups and assessed the potential impact of working virtually.

Participants in the study expected a combination of professional and non-professional outcomes from faculty writing groups. The professional and social benefits far exceeded the participants’ expectations, especially after the pandemic forced everyone into quarantine. Noted problems with participation among the groups centered on scheduling and social discord.


Looking specifically at the benefits expressed by participants, the following items were recognized by the study.

Benefits Word Cloud

The themes realized through the list of benefits were centered around social-emotional elements and productivity.


Conversely, some of the problems associated with the remote faculty writing groups are shown below.

Drawbacks Word Cloud

It is difficult to identify which of these were a result of the pandemic versus the remote nature of the writing group itself, however themes related to the drawbacks noted were scheduling, emotional components, and group dynamics.

These results were presented as part of the 2021 TAA Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference session, “Faculty Writing Groups: Sustaining and Thriving in a Virtual World”.

Eric Schmieder

Eric Schmieder is the Membership Marketing Manager for TAA. He has taught computer technology concepts to curriculum, continuing education, and corporate training students since 2001. A lifelong learner, teacher, and textbook author, Eric seeks to use technology in ways that improve results in his daily processes and in the lives of those he serves. His latest textbook, Web, Database, and Programming: A foundational approach to data-driven application development using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, MySQL, and PHP, First Edition, is available now through Sentia Publishing.