THE APPLICATION OF COMPUTERS IN DEVELOPMENTAL WRITING CLASSES
The application of computers in writing classes is a relatively new paradigm in education. The adoption of computers in writing classes is gaining ground in many universities, especially in the United States. There were numerous issues that were addressed when conducting computer-assisted courses. However, there were not many studies conducted to assess students’ reactions, perceptions, attitude and development in such courses. A qualitative quantitative study was designed at a large campus at a Midwestern University to highlight details about students’ attitude and development by using multiple sources of data. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected during the academic year 2002. Data sources include surveys and questionnaires, e-mail messages between the students and the instructor, students’ visits and responses to the Blackboard-based course web-page, and students’ portfolios that include all the students’ acts of writing over a time span of an academic quarter. Qualitative data were analyzed using grounded theory principles. Content analysis was applied to find out the type of electronic and hard-copy response interaction between the students and the instructor and the students themselves. This study employed grounded theory that could reside within the constructivist belief system. As for quantitative data, a Repeated Measure Multivariate Analysis with ANOVA was applied to find out the statistical differences between the groups of this study that uses the same population. Eleven students who were enrolled in a Preparatory Composition course at the University College in a Midwestern University participate in this study. The study focused on the student’ experience with this computer-assisted course as taught via Blackboard. To attain a deeper understanding of the students’ learning experience in this course, the study looked at how students respond to the instructions delivered by the instructor through the ‘Blackboard’ platform, the computer-assisted learning environment created by the instructor, the learning materials or feedbacks provided online or offline, the nature of interactions, sources of motivation, and the students’ cognitive development throughout the course. The findings indicated that computer-assisted learning helps students become independent learners. They also indicated that students’ individual differences and learning styles affected the students’ performance in the course. Some of the findings aligned with other research studies. These include: (a) readiness of resources (b) students’ transition to the web-based learning (c) course and time flexibility was a very positive aspect. Copyright © 2003, Yusuf Shudooh. All Rights Reserved.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:computers and writing developmental application composition
Date of Publication:01/01/2003