ERIC Number: ED415836
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
No Talking, Please, Just Chatting: Collaborative Writing with Computers.
This paper describes the use of collaborative writing software and simultaneous electronic chats in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. Most ESL students have little experience using word processing software, and most have no keyboarding experience. Using electronic chat sessions assists ESL students with sentence construction, vocabulary building, reading comprehension, and thinking skills. Visual evidence of participation gives students a means of measurable accountability and motivates many to participate more in this medium than in a traditional class setting. Transcripts of the chat sessions are used by the students for reference material for developing composition ideas, and by the instructor for evaluating the performance of individuals and groups in terms of topic, fluency, accuracy, and logic. As in traditional classroom instruction, planning and preparation are essential for effective learning. With proper execution (technical, instructional, and topical), electronic chats can increase student participation, facilitate discussion of class readings, and enhance critical thinking. Electronic collaboration encourages discussion of ideas from different perspectives and builds teamwork. As it focuses on the process of writing, students learn to put their ideas in written words, express their ideas more clearly, and become more excited about learning. Sample transcripts of two chat sessions are appended. (SWC)
Descriptors: Collaborative Writing, Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Mediated Communication, Computer Software, Cooperative Learning, English (Second Language), Higher Education, Information Networks, Microcomputers, Online Systems, Second Language Instruction, Student Writing Models, Teaching Methods, Writing Instruction
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper contributed to the Teaching in the Community Colleges Online Conference, "Innovative Instructional Practices" (1st, Kapiolani Community College, April 2-4, 1996).