I have a large number of AP students this year (36). I am thinking of breaking them into groups of 3 at least for a while and allowing them to collaborate on the first DBQs via Google Docs. I usually start with the DBQ on comparing Chesapeake and New England colonies (From the Doing the DBQ book from the College Board). Has anyone tried anything like this? Pros? Cons? Partly I am driven by survival mode. 12 DBQs to evaluate makes more sense than 36. Partly, I want to encourage more collaboration in light of everything I'm learning about web 2.0 and learning in the 21st century.
In the beginning of the year, I sometimes break the class into teams to "compete" on a DBQ to prove how each doc can be used in different ways. I have students prep the documents in teams for how each doc answers the thesis question and background info and then we round robin through the DBQ and the team that has the most (correct/ accurate) interpretations of the documents wins. I haven't had students write the DBQ we compete over, but it sets the tone of using docs in various ways and makes interpreting the docs more of a puzzle or game than a chore when students start interpreting/ writing on their own. Also, since some of my students come from pre - AP and others from academic level history, it is a good way to have those who already know about DBQ's informally work with the newbies