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ERIC Number: ED319359
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Research on Wordprocessing and Writing Instruction.
Bangert-Drowns, Robert L.
In response to critics' charges that use of the word processor may have a detrimental effect on writing, this study identified and analyzed 20 published studies that used experimental and control groups to compare conventional writing instruction (using handwriting) with instruction using the word processor. Five types of outcomes were analyzed: (1) number of revisions; (2) composition length; (3) students' attitudes toward writing; (4) basic writing skills (e.g., spelling, punctuation, and grammar); and (5) overall quality of written documents. Because a true meta-analysis was not possible using the available studies, calculation of effect sizes was supplemented with a narrative summary procedure. In spite of the various pitfalls that plagued the studies, word processing still proved to be a beneficial addition to writing instruction. Word processing appeared to increase students' enjoyment of writing and stimulate them to compose longer documents. Unexpectedly, it was found that word processing also tends to improve performance of basic writing skills. The securest finding, which came from 13 of the 15 studies that examined overall quality of writing, was that students instructed with word processing produced papers of better quality than students who produced handwritten papers. On the basis of these findings, it can tentatively be concluded that the word processor operates as an unsophisticated instructional tool (i.e., it instructs as it is being used) although it does not explicitly stimulate metacognitive activity. (8 references) (GL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A