ERIC Number: ED362245
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Writing with a Byte. Computers: An Effective Teaching Methodology To Improve Freshman Writing Skills.
Williamson, Barbara L.
A study was conducted at Florida's Brevard Community College (BCC) to determine the effectiveness of using artificial intelligence software to teach Freshman Composition. At BCC, Freshman Composition is taught in the computer lab, with student using WordPerfect to type their essays and Writer's Helper to flag various writing deficiencies. The students then revise on hard copies. Finally, using the word processor, they edit their essays based on the text analysis provided by Writer's Helper. The study sample included 67 students enrolled in four Freshman Composition sections. The students compared their first and last essays to discern whether they had reduced the use of "to be" verbs and vague words and pronouns, and found that they had used an average of 21.5 "to be" verbs in the final essays, compared to 24 "to be" verbs in the first essays; and that they had reduced their use of vague references. In addition, the students were surveyed regarding their attitudes towards using computers in the writing classroom. Responses from 72 students indicated that: (1) 98% of the students felt that using computers to assist in essay writing was helpful, with 76% finding them very helpful; (2) 97% indicated that using the computer greatly reduced the amount of time required for revision; (3) 97% felt that the textual analysis software was helpful with editing rough drafts; and (4) 100% of the students rated the use of computers in the writing laboratory as helpful and felt that future classes would also find this program useful. (MAB)
Descriptors: College Freshmen, Community Colleges, Computer Assisted Instruction, Freshman Composition, Participant Satisfaction, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Student Attitudes, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Word Processing, Writing Improvement, Writing Laboratories, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A