STUDENTS AS TEACHERS 1: NOVICE WRITERS USING COLLABORATIVE TECHNOLOGIES TO IMPROVE WRITTEN COMMUNICATIONS
The following paper describes the learning process that occurred in three classrooms of approximately 45 novice English composition writers studying at an American university in the Middle East. The students came from multicultural backgrounds which included African, Middle Eastern, Asian, European and American learners. These students as teachers used a collaborative editor to provide and support asynchronous learning first with their peers then virtually with peers in other classes. The learning objectives were to develop skills in locating and classifying data on personal beliefs, present a group collaboration which expressed the beliefs held about a certain topic across a group, and finally to produce an individual composition of one's own personal beliefs in composition form. During each stage of the process the students became the instructors and scaffolding the learning of others' through the use of live and collaborative teaching techniques. The personal beliefs that emerged varied from sports and health to family, faith and courage. Self-correction of writing errors increased in quantity and quality and the standards set by the institution were met. The learning reported by the students was described as supportive of critical thinking and highly motivational.