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Student-Student collaboration in wiki mediated collaborative writing activities: Exploring EFL teachers’ roles in the collaborative process

Alghasab , Maha (2015) Student-Student collaboration in wiki mediated collaborative writing activities: Exploring EFL teachers’ roles in the collaborative process. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract The use of wikis to support collaborative writing activities has captured the attention of second/foreign language researchers (SL/FL). The majority of studies to date have found evidence of positive collaborative behaviours, however some studies have reported inactive and unequal participation, individual ownership of the text, and minimal evidence of collaborative dialogue. Although the important role of the teacher has been reported in contexts such as face- to-face (FTF) and other online contexts, few studies have explored the effect of teachers’ online interventions on student-student (S-S) interaction in the wiki context. Therefore, this thesis fills this gap by exploring teachers’ interventional behaviours, and in particular, how they affect S-S wiki collaboration. A qualitative multiple case study design was conducted with 3 EFL teachers and their students (aged 17-18 years) at two Kuwaiti government high schools. Data were collected over a period of 13 weeks. The online discussion that occurred between students via the wiki threaded mode and their writing behaviours, as shown in the edits history were analysed and triangulated with the interview data. Unlike previous research, this study brings together the analysis of the wiki threaded discussion and editing behaviours to understand the process of collaboration. Qualitative Computer Mediated Discourse Analysis (CMDA) suggests that the teachers played an effective role in shaping the way the students interacted. An examination of the teachers’ interventional behaviours suggests that some interventional behaviours promoted S-S collaboration and some hindered it. Behaviours such as establishing a wiki culture of collaboration, reinforcing a sense of wiki community, asking students to engage mutually, being a co-learner and modelling editing behaviour, all seem to promote collaboration. Conversely, direct teacher edits, immediate responses, using an authoritative tone, and asking inactive students to participate may promote participation but not necessarily collaboration. The interview data also suggested that sociocultural issues, such as teachers’ superiority, questionable peer feedback, and individual text-ownership hindered collaboration. Therefore, this thesis argues that even in an online student-centred context such as a wiki, the role of the teacher is critical. Teachers who adopt a non-authoritative and collaborative-orientated intervention are much more effective in promoting S-S collaboration than those who are authoritative and intervene in a non-collaborative way. There is therefore a need for teacher training that raises teachers’ awareness of effective pedagogy regarding the use of wikis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of York > Department of Education (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.686528
Depositing User: Mrs Maha Alghasab
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 09:51
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/13068

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