About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1209-1217
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

USING APPS TO BRAINSTORM FOR AND OUTLINE ESSAYS: A STUDY IN HOW MULTIMODALITY CAN INCREASE MOTIVATION AND ENHANCE LEARNING FOR WRITING STUDENTS IN AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION CLASSROOM

M. Andrew

Zayed University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
This presentation will discuss research that examines how using presentation tools (e.g. Prezi) and authoring tools (e.g. iBooks Author) to do writing tasks in the English composition classroom can increase student motivation and learning. The presentation will showcase student examples and discuss research that investigates whether using Prezi and iBooks Author for writing tasks can:
• increase student engagement for writing tasks,
• improve vocabulary acquisition for English language learners through images and video,
• help written organization through structural design of apps,
• enhance brainstorming through recorded audio,
• enhance brainstorming through presenting multimodal information in groups, and
• improve motivation as a result of presenting multimodal projects to classmates.

The study also examines what devices students prefer to complete their projects—tablets or laptops, and to what extent mobile learning devices (phones or tablets) played in the construction of participant multimodal projects.

The research involves 72 English Composition students taking a second-level English Composition course at a university in the United Arab Emirates. As part of the English Composition curriculum, participants are required to complete prewriting tasks (e.g. concept mapping and outlining) to prepare them for essay assignments. Most participants had done prewriting tasks in their previous English composition course, but had completed the tasks using paper or a word processor. All participants owned either a laptop or a tablet, and the majority owned Macbooks.

The research design follows a mixed-method, pre-intervention/post-intervention study, which involves:
1. Questionnaires and focus group interviews that measure participant motivation and perceived usefulness of prewriting tasks such as brainstorming and outlining (pre-intervention).
2. Multimodal prewriting tasks using presentation tools, such as Prezi for brainstorming, and authoring tools, such as iBooks Author, for outlining (intervention).
3. Questionnaires and focus group interviews that measure participant motivation and perceived usefulness of prewriting tasks following the multimodal project (post-intervention).

Preliminary data analysis suggests that participants may enjoy doing prewriting activities with presentation tools and authoring tools more than traditional prewriting activities using word processors. Data also suggests that using images and video in their prewriting projects may help participants improve their English—specifically with vocabulary acquisition. 79% of participants suggested using apps to do outlines helped them write their essay better. This suggests that the built-in structure that apps like iBooks Author contain can lend itself to scaffolding an outline. Using apps to do prewriting projects such as Prezi and iBooks Author may also improve student sharing of ideas as 72% of participants found watching the presentation of other classmates’ projects useful for their own research.

Preliminary data also indicates that although the majority of participants preferred using laptops to tablets for constructing their digital projects, most participants used mobile learning devices such as smart phones to complete certain aspects of their multimodal projects.
@InProceedings{ANDREW2015USI,
author = {Andrew, M.},
title = {USING APPS TO BRAINSTORM FOR AND OUTLINE ESSAYS: A STUDY IN HOW MULTIMODALITY CAN INCREASE MOTIVATION AND ENHANCE LEARNING FOR WRITING STUDENTS IN AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION CLASSROOM},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {1209-1217}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Andrew
TI - USING APPS TO BRAINSTORM FOR AND OUTLINE ESSAYS: A STUDY IN HOW MULTIMODALITY CAN INCREASE MOTIVATION AND ENHANCE LEARNING FOR WRITING STUDENTS IN AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION CLASSROOM
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 1209
EP - 1217
ER -
M. Andrew (2015) USING APPS TO BRAINSTORM FOR AND OUTLINE ESSAYS: A STUDY IN HOW MULTIMODALITY CAN INCREASE MOTIVATION AND ENHANCE LEARNING FOR WRITING STUDENTS IN AN ENGLISH COMPOSITION CLASSROOM, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 1209-1217.
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