ERIC Number: ED373857
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jan
Postsecondary Novice and Better Than Novice Writers: Effects of Word Processing and a Very Special Computer Assisted Writing Lab.
A study was conducted in spring 1991, spring 1993, and summer 1993 to determine the effect on the writing process of various types of word processing software used by developmental and second-level composition students. Analyses were conducted of developmental students (novice writers) and of composition students (above novice writers) at a Texas community college. The developmental students were divided into two groups, one completed classroom writing exercises with traditional pen and paper and the other or used a simple word processing program. Composition students were divided into three groups, one writing with traditional pen and paper, one using a full computer word processor, and the third using a computer word processor in conjunction to electronic conferencing facilities that allowed students to communicate about the assignments in real time. Results of the study included the following: (1) on the multiple paragraph essays, all developmental students performed similarly, regardless of writing method; (2) developmental students who used computers during the semester wrote significantly more words on the exit exam (a pen and paper assignment) and were more concerned with paper length than the other students; (3) composition students in the computer conferencing class scored significantly higher than the other two groups in all measures; and (4) by cooperatively developing their ideas with other students on-line, students improved the organization, logic, and quality of their writing. (Contains 16 references.) (MAB)
Descriptors: Basic Skills, Basic Writing, Community Colleges, Comparative Analysis, Computer Networks, Computer Software, Computer Uses in Education, Educational Technology, Two Year College Students, Two Year Colleges, Word Processing, Writing Improvement, Writing Laboratories, Writing Skills, Writing Strategies, Writing Workshops
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at a conference of the Southwestern Educational Research Association (San Antonio, TX, January 27-29, 1994).