Collaborative Writing Among Second Language Learners In Academic Web-Based Projects

March 3, 2012


This study investigates Web-based, project oriented, many-to-many collaborative writing for academic purposes. Thirty-eight Fulbright scholars in an orientation program at a large Midwestern university used a Web-based word processing tool to collaboratively plan and report on a research project. The purpose of this study is to explore and understand the changing nature of collaborative writing, as it is influenced by Web-based writing contexts. Details of students’ writing processes and their perceptions of the collaborative Web-based word processing experience are explored. Findings suggest that students focused more on meaning than form, that their grammatical changes were overall more accurate than inaccurate, that they participated with varying frequency, and that they used the tool for simultaneous varied purposes. Student feedback about the Web-based collaborative activity and use of Google Docs offers additional insights. Observations about the evolving nature of Web-based collaborative writing and associated pedagogical practices including considerations about student autonomy are discussed.

Language Learning and Technology

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