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A Study on the Integration of Google Docs as a Web-based Collaborative Learning Platform in EFL Writing Instruction
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to explore EFL (English as a Foreign Language) college students’ perceptions and experiences about the technology-enhanced collaborative English writing course. Methods/Statistical Analysis: For the students’ collaborative and interactive English learning experience, this study integrated the cloud-based online collaborative writing tool and the peer-editing activities in order to develop college students’ English academic writing skills and motivation. Among various web-based collaborative writing platforms such as wikis, online word processors or blogs, Google Docs have been incorporated into the college EFL writing course for this study. Findings: Google Docs is a web-based free word processor and can be utilized as a tool of creating a web-based platform for submitting students’ English essay writings and peer-editing. To find out students’ perceptions and attitudes about technology-enhanced English writing instruction and online-based peer editing activities, cloud-based online survey was administered at the end of the course. For more in-depth analysis, students’ essay samples and results from semi-structured focus group interview were utilized. In this study, using Google Doc, students could create online documents and edit them online while they were collaborating with other students and the instructor in real-time. This study indicated that students in the course demonstrated affirmative perceptions about the use of the cloud-based online writing tool and having collaborative peer-editing experience. Improvements/Applications: This study proposed that the application of Google Docs as the web-based collaborative writing platform helped to enhance active communication, autonomous class participation, mutual collaboration as well as dynamic classroom interaction.
Collaborative Learning, Constructivism, EFL, English Writing, Google Docs, Peer-Editing.
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