ERIC Number: ED305980
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
The Effect of Classroom Computer Use on College Basic Writers: A Controlled Study in Progress.
Meem, Deborah T.
A study was initiated at University College of the University of Cincinnati to test the effect of composing and revising at a computer on the writing performance of developmental English students. Students enrolled in English for Effective Communication (EEC I) were divided into three groups: a control group that did not use the computer at all; a group who had access to Apple IIe computers equipped with Bank Street Writer II word processing software; and a computer group using Bank Street and Writer's Helper, software which guides the students through the entire writing process. At the end of Winter 1989, after 7 of the 11 quarters of the study had been completed, 698 students had enrolled in EEC I. Study findings, based on students' essays, freshman English entrance examination scores, and course evaluations, included the following: (1) the control and Writer's Helper groups had the highest average scores on the first of the four major papers in EEC I, while the Bank Street Writer group had the highest percentage passing the entrance exam; (2) only 27.4% of the students had no prior computer experience; (3) while students felt that using the computer in composition courses was enjoyable, helpful, and increased their self-confidence, they were significantly less willing to grant that computer use contributed to their skill in writing; (4) the two computer groups rated both their instructors and courses more highly than did the control group; and (5) students were reluctant to use the computer for intellectual experimentation, valuing it more for its convenience. Tentative conclusions suggest that computer use may affect students' attitudes more than their writing performance. (ALB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A