ERIC Number: ED337156
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Collaborative Word-Processing. Evaluation of Exploratory Studies in Education Computing, Study 12.
Ashworth, Daniel; Atmore, David
This study sought to examine the group dynamics of children working and learning collaboratively on a computer-based instructional writing task. Standard 3 and 4 children at two urban primary schools in the Dunedin area of New Zealand were assigned the task of producing illustrated interactive stories using the "Twist-a-plot" program. Pupils worked in groups of about four members where group membership was determined in various ways (the "independent variable"). Allocation to group was child-initiated, teacher-initiated, or a mixture of the two, with social attractiveness and scholastic abilities taken into consideration. At the end of each phase, all groups and individuals were given a standard detailed interview designed to examine aspects of group dynamics, in particular, leadership roles, participation in the task, and attitude toward the group and the task. The major findings were: (1) virtually all groups completed the word processing writing task, irrespective of the method of allocation to group; (2) children were happy to work in mixed-sex groups but reluctant to publicly choose to work with pupils of the opposite sex; (3) both boys and girls tended to believe that "boys are good at pictures and story, and girls are good at typing"; (4) in groups of mixed scholastic ability slower pupils are likely to be left behind; and (5) children do not have much awareness of group processes. Appendices include the student interview schedules, a rationale and analysis of the term two and term three interviews, and a summary of responses to the term four interviews. (5 references) (Author/DB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New Zealand Council for Educational Research, Wellington.
Identifiers: New Zealand