This research study was a quasi-experimental study that investigated the impact of collaborative writing on 76 male EFL students' writing performance in an online (wiki) classroom compared with a traditional (paper-and-pencil) collaborative ...
Author: Bandar Saleh Aljafen
This research study was a quasi-experimental study that investigated the impact of collaborative writing on 76 male EFL students' writing performance in an online (wiki) classroom compared with a traditional (paper-and-pencil) collaborative writing classroom. The subjects were enrolled in a semester-long advanced English writing course at Qassim University, Saudi Arabia, and were equally divided into two classrooms---online/wiki (experimental) and traditionally-taught (control). In the experimental classroom, students used wiki to collaborate; in the control classroom, students used face-to-face communication and notebooks. Both treatments were compared analyzing data collected from a pretest and post-test of individual writing, three collaborative writing assignments, a collaborative writing questionnaire, and individual interviews. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics (i.e., frequency, maximum, minimum, mean, and standard deviation) and inferential statistics (repeated measures ANOVA and t-test). Analysis of individual writing in the pretest and post-test showed that the number of words and grammatical form scores significantly increased in both the experimental (wiki) and control (paper and pencil) classrooms. In total score, content, diction and tone, and mechanics, the students' scores in both classrooms significantly increased regardless of the treatment the students received. Additionally, there was a significant difference in the post-test scores between the treatments, with the wiki classroom scoring higher than the traditional classroom. In rhetorical structure, the scores in both classrooms significantly improved from the pretest to the post-test, yet, they were also slightly different between treatments. Analysis of the collaborative writing assignments showed that the writing quantity (i.e., word count) and quality (i.e., total score, content, rhetorical structure, grammatical form, diction and tone, and mechanics) significantly increased over time in both treatments. However, there was no significant difference between treatments and time by treatment. The students' perceptions of writing collaboration were significant but were not for the rest of the measurements. They responded similarly in writing performance, writing apprehension, and its future use. Qualitative analysis of student interview data showed that both treatments yielded positive responses toward collaborative writing in terms of its usefulness, ease of use, and process writing. However, there were some limitations regarding this experience (i.e., participation, technical problems).