About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4590-4599
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

EXPLORING THE WIKI-MEDIATED LEARNING PROCESS: COLLABORATION IN A SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING CLASS

S. Pérez Castillejo

University of Minnesota (UNITED STATES)
Despite the growing body of literature on the educational uses of wikis, their application in the field of second language learning is still underexplored. Recent studies address wikis’ potential to promote collaborative language learning, but how the actual knowledge-building process emerges is still poorly understood. This study addresses said gap by analyzing the collaborative learning process as it unfolds in a wiki-based writing task.

Assuming a sociocultural theoretical view on learning, this paper examines what aspects of wiki task design promote collaboration and subsequent knowledge development. The study took place in a semester-long Spanish as a second language writing course at a large university in the US. In triads, participants composed wiki-based texts that were later analyzed with a microgenetic methodology – the study of the origin and development of a learning event. The main unit of analysis were the Language Related Episodes (LREs) tracked with the wiki history log that allows storage of several drafts. LREs are instances of learner-text interaction in which the learning object – the foreign language in this case – is the focus. LREs evidence metalinguistic awareness and are supposed to precede language development from a sociocultural perspective on learning. These data were combined with qualitative data from interviews and recall protocols.

The analysis reveals that wiki-based collaboration benefits more those individuals who have developed self-regulatory learning skills: structured revision, compliance with task directions, acknowledgement of weaknesses, and systematic target of areas for improvement. Therefore, the integration of wiki-tasks in the classroom can be more effective when complemented or preceded by work on those skills.

Likewise, findings show that wiki-based collaboration is shaped by the instructional design as much as by the participants (learners, instructor, and institutional context) in the event. Social factors that may affect the learning outcomes include prior experience with online writing outside school, the extent to which participants share control over the direction of the task, and the value placed by the particular academic institution on traditional notions of individual agency and accountability of school work.

As for the exploitation of wikis as data gathering instruments for research on learning processes, the study reveals that – while making writing-as-process more apparent for researchers – wikis only store a series of snapshots of the writing event as it happened. Any other processes that learners engaged in while composing a particular draft are not recorded. An investigation that includes think-aloud protocols or video technology may be more suitable for this type of analysis in the future.

This paper contributes to the field of technology in teaching and learning by uncovering relevant aspects of the learning process that emerges during a wiki-based collaborative task. By exploring wikis not only as learning tools, but also as data gathering instruments, this study has a broader appeal: it informs both the pedagogical decisions of teachers interested in Web 2.0 integration, as well as the methodology choices of researchers in the larger field of technology integration in education.
@InProceedings{PEREZCASTILLEJO2011EXP,
author = {P{\'{e}}rez Castillejo, S.},
title = {EXPLORING THE WIKI-MEDIATED LEARNING PROCESS: COLLABORATION IN A SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING CLASS},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4590-4599}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Pérez Castillejo
TI - EXPLORING THE WIKI-MEDIATED LEARNING PROCESS: COLLABORATION IN A SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING CLASS
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 4590
EP - 4599
ER -
S. Pérez Castillejo (2011) EXPLORING THE WIKI-MEDIATED LEARNING PROCESS: COLLABORATION IN A SECOND LANGUAGE WRITING CLASS, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 4590-4599.
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