Task types and learners’ performance in collaborative virtual learning environments

Authors

  • Ali Rahimi Faculty of Humanities and Tourism Management, Bangkok University, Thailand
  • Hadis Yadollahi Sharif University of Technology, Iran

Keywords:

E-learning, Social Constructivism, Etherpad, Collaboration, Editing, Feedback, Writing

Abstract

This study was conducted to examine how various  task types affect the extent to which learners engage in form-related changes(FRC)  and meaning-related changes(MRC).To this end,15 Iranian language learners (9 female and 6 male) participated in instruction sessions  in which they learned how to self-correct and peer-correct three writing tasks ,namely ; argumentative, informative , and analytical. Etherpad package was used to facilitate the communication among the learners as they shared their responses and feedback on each other’s writings. Data analysis indicated more instances of peer-correction (54%) compared to those of self-correction (46%) in the three task types. The results of a Chi-square analysis illustrated that the difference in the instances of corrections produced was statistically significant (X2=10.890, p=0.00).In this regard, the results indicated that the number of corrections produced in the analytical task was higher than that of other tasks. Another Chi-square test (Chi-Sq = 6.754, DF = 2, P-Value = 0.034) proved that the participants in all task types made statistically significant changes in meaning-related aspects compared to the changes they made to the formal ones in their written products.  A t-test analysis revealed that learners’ focus between form and structure was not significantly different whether they worked individually or collaboratively. (P-value = 0.3 for argumentative task, P-value = 0.26 for analytical task). However the analysis showed that the emphasis of accuracy and meanings (p-value =0.031 for argumentative task, P-value = 0.033) increased when they worked in groups. The findings of an interview revealed that most of the interviewees agreed that the writing and editing in collaboration with peers were a positive and useful experience.

Author Biography

Ali Rahimi, Faculty of Humanities and Tourism Management, Bangkok University, Thailand

Ali Rahimi, Ph.D.  is an Associate Professor of Applied Linguistics at Bangkok University. He is the author of 13 books. Four recent titles are Critical Discourse Analysis, The Art of Communication, Roadmap to Meaning: Fine-tune Your Translation Skills,  Textbook Evaluation. He has translated 12 books on CDA, Creative Intelligence, Psychology, Sociolinguistics, and Pragmatics, etc. He has also published extensively in various reputable international journals and has presented his articles at national and international conferences. He has run workshops throughout Asia and Europe on Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication Skills, Critical Discourse Analysis, Language and Culture and Research Designs. He has had major roles in international educational associations as well as curriculum development policies and has served on numerous editorial boards. He has worked with Croatian Public Relations Association (CPRA) and teachers’ professional development and research at BAU in Istanbul, Turkey.  He has also collaborated with the South Korean Educational Development Organization and KJEP. He is a guest editor of Elsevier, Social and Behavioral Sciences (2014 and 2015).  He has also been the president of LINELT, 2013 and LINELT, 2014.  He is the editor-in-chief of the Global Journal of Foreign Language Teaching.

Email: Ali.r@bu.ac.th  rahimijah@yahoo.com   rahimi_cda@yahoo.com;

                                                                                                                                

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Published

2015-03-24

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Academic articles