The impact of electronic writing proficiency on student writing performance
Three classrooms of students in a computer-integrated writing course at the University of Washington participated in a research study that asked, How does the electronic writing proficiency of university students in an introductory writing course, writing from a literature base, impact their writing? The study examined the relationship between student perceptions about their writing process, word processing skills, and writing achievement.Surveys, keystroke capture software, ratings from final drafts, field notes from classroom observations, and interviews with students and teachers provided data for analysis. Using path analysis, it was found that only 5.6% of the variance in the final draft score could be attributed to perceptions or word processing skills.High electronic writing proficiency consists of non-negative perceptions of using a word processor to aid writing, a perception that there is some benefit to using the technology, and demonstrating that use of the technology. High electronic writing proficiency also consists of computer skills that are required to write the document: knowing how to open, save, close, and create a new document; set the font; and cut, copy, paste, and delete text; and keyboard at least 20 words per minute. For both aspects, skills must be at a level that they do not interfere with the writing process.Students who knew more functions of a word processor did not use those functions when writing, nor did printed papers demonstrate the use of a word processor. However, students with different final grades showed some differences in how they used the word processor to write.The study also found that students followed instruction explicitly. Comments in peer reviews, as well as text edits and revisions mirrored instruction. The nature of the assignments determined how word processing features were utilized. Only papers published online used dynamic texts with hyperlinks, graphics, color, and a variety of fonts. Results also indicated that neither word processing skills nor perceptions determined the quality of essays, but instruction that integrated technology to support the pedagogy of the writing classroom resulted in high quality student work.
- Education - Seattle