Technology has been useful in helping students to improve in their writing skills, for example, using word processing and e-mail to exchange feedback on writing (Slaouti, Pennells and Weatherhead, 2000; Mansor, 2011). In practice, however, a major concern of email exchanges in my context is that it could not help students improve their paragraph writing significantly. Students received feedback via email, but they did not undertake revision. Consequently, the improvement did not take place when they were assigned to write another paragraph using this technology-based writing approach. This might be caused by the condition that the use of word processors and email exchanges could not provide a medium to encourage students to undertake revision and there was no opportunity for the teacher to have control over their writing process, so they felt no obligation to revise their writing. Thus, it is important to figure out a potential means to aid students’ writing improvement. This can be approached through collaborative writing. Some studies suggest that collaborative writing can engender better writing for students since it allows them to exchange ideas and work together to complete a writing process. In this scheme, Google Docs can be a potential means to promote collaborative writing since its features afford students the opportunity to compose writing jointly and undertake the writing process. This paper is, therefore, an attempt to critically analyse the writing approach to promoting collaborative writing through Google Docs in my paragraph writing class.
Ianatul Avifah, The University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Stream: Innovative language teaching and learning methodologies
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