Learning outcomes and students' perceptions of online writing: Simultaneous implementation of a forum, blog, and wiki in an EFL blended learning setting

Terumi Miyazoe, Terry Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

198 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the effectiveness of three different online writing activities in formal university education: forums, blogs, and wikis. Constructivism - reflective and collaborative learning fostered by scaffolding - provides a main support for their use in education. Prior research regarding the use of blogs and wikis, especially in language education, is reviewed. The lack of detailed examination to determine learning outcomes, the absence of an evaluation mechanism, and the special difficulty language education holds for their appreciation are noted. The latter half of the paper presents exploratory research executed by the authors on the usage of forums, blogs, and wikis in an English as foreign language (EFL)-blended learning course in a university in Tokyo, Japan. A mixed-method approach was applied with survey, interview, and text analysis used for triangulation. The survey revealed students' positive perceptions of the blended course design with online writings - wikis being the most favorable, followed by blogs and forums. Qualitative text analysis of forum and wiki writings showed progress in their ability to differentiate English writing styles. The interview script analysis clarified the different merits students perceived from each activity. The variations provided by the blended course design served well in meeting challenges and were fun for them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-199
Number of pages15
JournalSystem
Volume38
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2010

Keywords

  • Blended learning
  • Blog
  • Collaborative learning
  • EFL
  • Forum
  • Reflective learning
  • Text analysis
  • Wiki

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