ERIC Number: ED283198
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Apr-27
Reference Count: 0
Computer-Tutors and a Freshman Writer: A Protocol Study.
Although there are many retrospective accounts from teachers and professional writers concerning the effect of computers on their writing, there are few real-time accounts of students struggling to simultaneously develop as writers and cope with computers. To fill this void in "testimonial data," a study examining talking-aloud protocols from a freshman in an introductory composition course. The student, whose initial writings were typical of a freshman writer, used the PC-Write 2.6 word processing program, with its extensive on-line help screens and an invention tutoring program called QUEST. Once a week the student came to the computer lab and verbalized her thoughts into a tape recorder while writing. Findings indicated that the student exhibited very little of the"user-friendly fallacy," the assumption that the machine shares the user's world views and that the computer will assume responsibility for the topic of the paper. The student did have trouble operating the computer at first, and she expressed irritation. Later, problems disappeared, but the student did not take advantage of advanced functions, instead using the computer as a glorified typewriter. Also, computer trouble often interrupted her progress when using the invention tutor. Her writing improved, however, and the computer tutoring was useful, if not a complete substitute for the kind of tutoring humans can provide. (References and samples of the student's interactions with QUEST are appended.) (SKC)
Descriptors: Case Studies, College Freshmen, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Literacy, Computer Software, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Freshman Composition, Higher Education, Microcomputers, Programed Tutoring, Protocol Analysis, Word Processing, Writing Exercises, Writing Improvement, Writing Research, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Symposium of the New York College Learning Skills Association (Rochester, NY, April 27, 1987).