University of Leicester
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The role of online collaboration in promoting ESL writing

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posted on 2014-12-15, 10:43 authored by Jessie Wai-Ching Choi
This study examined an ESL writing class, which consisted of 36 students, at a community college of Hong Kong. The students took part in three online collaborative writing tasks in the second semester of 2004-2005 by sending drafts to peers who gave them suggestions and comments for improvement and working together on the completion of the writing task via email.;The 36 students worked in small groups of four to six. They wrote, responded and revised using the email system offered by the WebCT interface of their course book. The results were evaluated by means of questionnaire, interview and participating students, report of the peer observer, written work, e-responses and reflective summaries of students.;As an introduction, the background of this study is examined. Then in Chapter 2, the notion of collaborative learning is explored with a close examination of its relationship with technology and the ESL writing context and a discussion of the related research literature. Following this, issues concerning online course design are discussed. In Chapter 3, the design of the study is given. Results and implications re presented in Chapters 4 and 5.;Results suggest that students generally enjoyed the supportive atmosphere created by online collaborative tasks and regarded the use of online collaboration as a means of improving their writing by enhancing their motivation, awareness of the audience and the importance of revising, and by reducing their stress and cultivating their positive attitudes towards writing, although some of them were found to have reservations about the effectiveness of peer feedback. The writer concludes that online collaboration does have potential in motivating ESL learners and bringing about positive learning effects on writing, but that the key lies in how it is managed and how effectively it is incorporated into the programs.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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