First Advisor

Nike Arnold

Date of Publication

Summer 8-29-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Applied Linguistics




Wikis (Computer science), English language -- Writing -- Study and teaching -- Computer-assisted instruction -- Case studies, Second language acquisition -- Study and teaching -- Computer-assisted instruction -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 178 pages)


Although the benefits of group and pair work in the second language (L2) classroom have been extensively studied, most documented research has focused on the use of oral tasks and spoken interaction between learners. Recently however, researchers have begun to investigate the advantages of collaboration on written work. More specifically, with the advancements in computer technology and web-based collaborative platforms like wikis, there has been a growing awareness of the educational possibilities of wikis to enhance L2 writing instruction. This study followed a pretest/posttest repeated measures design to investigate the impact and students' perceptions of wiki-based collaborative writing activities on individual writing performance. The study involved 12 university students in a TOEFL preparation course at a large university in Bogota, Colombia. Students were divided into two groups: the experimental group (n=8) engaged in a series of wiki-based collaborative writing activities and focused practice between pre and posttests, while the control (n=4) received no treatment. Two individual writing samples (pre and posttest) composed by each participant under timed conditions were quantitatively analyzed using the three linguistic developmental measures of complexity, accuracy, and fluency. While statistically significant differences were not evident for measures of fluency or accuracy, descriptive statistics showed an overall positive impact for collaborative writing on individual learners' written fluency. Analysis of complexity measures revealed mixed results with respect to learning gains. Further analysis of perception data reported by learners in an exit survey disclosed their positive attitude towards perceived linguistic benefits with regard to the wiki-based collaborative writing activities. Both theoretical and pedagogical implications of the study, limitations, and directions for future research are presented.


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