The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Wiki-Mediated Collaborative Writing (WMCW): an investigation of learners’ perceptions and the impact of WMCW on preparatory year medical students studying English language in a university in Saudi Arabia

Wiki-Mediated Collaborative Writing (WMCW): an investigation of learners’ perceptions and the impact of WMCW on preparatory year medical students studying English language in a university in Saudi Arabia
Wiki-Mediated Collaborative Writing (WMCW): an investigation of learners’ perceptions and the impact of WMCW on preparatory year medical students studying English language in a university in Saudi Arabia
Many learners of English as a second or foreign language at university, especially preparatory year students, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere struggle to achieve a satisfactory level of English language writing. Writing in English with control of accurate mechanics of writing and vocabulary and syntax, logical flow of ideas and clear structure of organisation and coherence is a condition for students’ academic success and vital for effective written communication. Despite its importance, the majority of such learners fail to meet these requirements and they have difficulties in composing texts with a logical sequence of ideas and persuasive content (Roberts and Cimasko, 2008). Part of this problem is said to occur because many writing instructors still follow traditional teaching methodologies such as the grammar-translation method and use of repetitive exercises. Such practices may seem demotivating to many learners, particularly the young generation of learner writers.

However, there are a number emerging technologies such as social networking tools (e.g. wikis), which if included in normal classes can help and are therefore relevant. Many such tools utilise writing and written messages. There is now a mismatch between what learners do in the traditional class and what they actually spend most of their time on outside class (web 2.0 technologies). A compromise between two environments: formal (in class) and informal (outside class) could offer solutions.

The current study aimed to fill a gap in the research by addressing the specific problems related to learning writing. It will suggest that a process-oriented wiki-mediated collaborative writing (PWMCW) approach can assist learners in practising writing in second/foreign language. The research also aimed to provide a formal learning setting for writing outside the classroom, to train the ESL/EFL learner writers to
target a new audience other than their instructor. In this way, they will learn to develop their abilities to share knowledge and to respond to peers and their own feedback.

The study addressed three main questions (eight sub-questions): to explore how the students perceive the PWMCW, how the learner writers process it and how it impacts on their collaborative and individual texts. The study takes a quasi-experimental case study design (one single pre-and-post-experimental group) in order to contribute to the continuity of development of learner writers regardless of place-related restrictions (Green et al., 2011). It was carried out with a mixed-research design. The quantitative analysis provided robust statistical operations to identify the significance level for certain issues, e.g. e feedback, authentic tasks and peers interaction. The qualitative analysis showed how collaborative planning and revision are achieved during the PWMCW.

The data were collected from pre-and-post questionnaires, initial-and-follow-up focus groups, delayed interviews, wiki-based contributions and samples for written texts. A purposive sampling was applied and a group of university level, preparatory year, language learners were chosen in one of the universities in Saudi Arabia. This procedure is held to ensure that writing can be socially processed in an online learning environment.

The findings revealed significant and insignificant changes in the perceptions of the learners along with emerging specific themes which contributed to understanding the topic of the PWMCW. The findings also explored the nature of how the collaborative writers worked together to establish a good start for better written texts, by emphasising collaborative planning and collaborative revision. Finally, the findings showed the impact of the PWMCW on the texts produced collaboratively (that used collaborative planning and collaborative revision) and individually (those texts produced by the individual learners before and after the course).
Al Khateeb, Ahmed
d1a3ef36-05f7-4840-aa90-0b5d6b6b5fcc
Al Khateeb, Ahmed
d1a3ef36-05f7-4840-aa90-0b5d6b6b5fcc
Wright, Vicky
5a4085ca-99b1-43d4-92e0-8b36edbcf93a

Al Khateeb, Ahmed (2014) Wiki-Mediated Collaborative Writing (WMCW): an investigation of learners’ perceptions and the impact of WMCW on preparatory year medical students studying English language in a university in Saudi Arabia. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 457pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Many learners of English as a second or foreign language at university, especially preparatory year students, in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere struggle to achieve a satisfactory level of English language writing. Writing in English with control of accurate mechanics of writing and vocabulary and syntax, logical flow of ideas and clear structure of organisation and coherence is a condition for students’ academic success and vital for effective written communication. Despite its importance, the majority of such learners fail to meet these requirements and they have difficulties in composing texts with a logical sequence of ideas and persuasive content (Roberts and Cimasko, 2008). Part of this problem is said to occur because many writing instructors still follow traditional teaching methodologies such as the grammar-translation method and use of repetitive exercises. Such practices may seem demotivating to many learners, particularly the young generation of learner writers.

However, there are a number emerging technologies such as social networking tools (e.g. wikis), which if included in normal classes can help and are therefore relevant. Many such tools utilise writing and written messages. There is now a mismatch between what learners do in the traditional class and what they actually spend most of their time on outside class (web 2.0 technologies). A compromise between two environments: formal (in class) and informal (outside class) could offer solutions.

The current study aimed to fill a gap in the research by addressing the specific problems related to learning writing. It will suggest that a process-oriented wiki-mediated collaborative writing (PWMCW) approach can assist learners in practising writing in second/foreign language. The research also aimed to provide a formal learning setting for writing outside the classroom, to train the ESL/EFL learner writers to
target a new audience other than their instructor. In this way, they will learn to develop their abilities to share knowledge and to respond to peers and their own feedback.

The study addressed three main questions (eight sub-questions): to explore how the students perceive the PWMCW, how the learner writers process it and how it impacts on their collaborative and individual texts. The study takes a quasi-experimental case study design (one single pre-and-post-experimental group) in order to contribute to the continuity of development of learner writers regardless of place-related restrictions (Green et al., 2011). It was carried out with a mixed-research design. The quantitative analysis provided robust statistical operations to identify the significance level for certain issues, e.g. e feedback, authentic tasks and peers interaction. The qualitative analysis showed how collaborative planning and revision are achieved during the PWMCW.

The data were collected from pre-and-post questionnaires, initial-and-follow-up focus groups, delayed interviews, wiki-based contributions and samples for written texts. A purposive sampling was applied and a group of university level, preparatory year, language learners were chosen in one of the universities in Saudi Arabia. This procedure is held to ensure that writing can be socially processed in an online learning environment.

The findings revealed significant and insignificant changes in the perceptions of the learners along with emerging specific themes which contributed to understanding the topic of the PWMCW. The findings also explored the nature of how the collaborative writers worked together to establish a good start for better written texts, by emphasising collaborative planning and collaborative revision. Finally, the findings showed the impact of the PWMCW on the texts produced collaboratively (that used collaborative planning and collaborative revision) and individually (those texts produced by the individual learners before and after the course).

PDF
Final Thesis.pdf - Other
Download (5MB)

More information

Published date: July 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 376445
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/376445
PURE UUID: b45e2465-322b-4d2d-a1c5-08d01577058d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Jul 2015 11:25
Last modified: 01 May 2018 04:01

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×