ERIC Number: ED285200
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Case Study of a Reluctant Word Processor: A Look at One Student in a Word Processing Classroom.
A case study examined the writing problems of Jay, a freshman composition student at the University of Massachusetts, to determine how teachers should handle students whose composing styles are not suited to writing with word processors. Interviews, classroom observation, and careful analyses of Jay's essays in progress and logsheets were conducted over the course of one semester. Jay's writing behavior showed that while he concentrated his keyboard revisions on changing single words, his more substantial revisions involved rewriting entire sections by hand and making insertions and deletions in the margins. Jay stated that he preferred the pen and word processor combination because he was hindered by the physical constraints of the computer lab. Physical problems arose because Jay typed much more slowly than he wrote and felt uncomfortable with the word processor's function keys. Noise in the lab also distracted him, and the distance from his dorm to the lab made it inconvenient to use. These problems diminished through the semester, however. Jay also felt unable to type and think at the same time, because trying to remember the word processor commands interfered with his thinking. This problem also diminished with time. Some of Jay's reluctance derived from prejudices against computers from his past experiences, implying that instructors should attend to students' past computer experiences as they try to help students learn to use word processors in writing. (SKC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (38th, Atlanta, GA, March 19-21, 1987).