First Advisor

Nike Arnold

Date of Publication

Fall 12-12-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

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


Applied Linguistics




Creative writing (Higher education) -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers, English language -- Study and teaching -- Foreign speakers, Wikis (Computer science), Students -- Attitudes, Second language acquisition, Group work in education



Physical Description

1 online resource (xi, 166 pages)


Despite the growing number of L2 studies examining digitally-mediated collaborative writing, the vast majority of these studies have focused on academic writing tasks. This study examined the dynamics and perceptions of groups of ESL students who used wikis to write collaborative short stories. The study also compared the short stories written in groups with posttest short stories written individually in terms of creativity, accuracy, and complexity. The study involved nine students taking a Creative Writing course in an intensive English program at a large university in the U.S. It followed a multiple case study design; the students were divided into three pairs and one triad (four case studies). For three weeks, the groups engaged in a series of wiki-based and creative writing activities and produced four collaborative short stories. During the following three-week period, the students wrote nine individual short stories using a similar writing prompt to the one used in the collaborative task. For each student, the collaborative and individual writing samples were compared on the three dimensions of creativity, accuracy, and complexity to examine whether collaboration influenced the quality of the product. Further, the dynamics of collaboration were explored through analyzing the wiki discussions and revision histories for each group. Finally, students' perceptions of the task were surveyed through individual interviews and self-assessment questionnaires. While there was not a clear effect of collaboration on the creativity and accuracy of the short stories, the complexity was slightly higher for the majority of the informants. The analysis of the short stories also indicated that ESL students faced difficulty writing in a genre that does not have a strict pre-established outline. Analysis of the wiki discussions and revision history showed trends of group dynamics in the four case studies. Further analysis of perception data revealed that although the majority of the informants had a negative perception of the collaborative task, they expressed a positive attitude toward the individual creative writing task.


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