Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

2575

Date

2016

Date of Award

3-28-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

English

Concentration

Applied Linguistics

Committee Chair

Emily Thrush

Committee Member

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Angela Thevenot

Committee Member

Verner Mitchell

Abstract

Driven by Vygotsky's sociocultural theory and the notion of the zone of proximal development (ZPD), and Long's interaction hypothesis, the study investigated how intermediate-level international students at an urban U.S. Mid-South university interacted in wiki-based collaborative writing. students' perspectives toward the integration of wikis in writing assignments and why they hold such perspectives were also objectives of the study. Eighteen students in small groups of three were asked to collaboratively write three different paragraphs, namely, summary, compare/contrast, and classification.Using a triangulation mixed-methods approach, the data were collected over 8 weeks. Pre-and post-survey questionnaires were adminstered using an online survey website to get the students' opinions. A password-protected class wiki was set up to help students collaborate on the writing prompts. Because not all participants had used wikis before, the researcher gave a training session and asked students to do a mock writing activity. For simplicity and a friendly-user interface, PBworks.com was chosen from several free wiki sites. Following the course syllabus design, the writing instructor chose the writing prompts and asked the researcher to post them online in a timely-manner.Key findings of the study revealed that the majority of students hold positive attitudes toward wiki-based collaborative writing although it was the first time for all the students to work on wikis. The reasons behind students' positive attitudes included, but are not limited to, the fact that students helped and scaffolded one another to develop one well-written product and the opportunity to collaborate anytime and anywhere on the class wiki. Another interesting finding indicated that students' attention to form (i.e., grammatical surface structure) and meaning (i.e., content) is affected by the writing task. The study's results accord with previous studies. The study concluded with several suggestions for future research studies.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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