Revision and Participation Patterns in Grades 5 and 6 Wiki Writing
Keywords:Writing, New Literacies, Collaboration
Our study examined middle grade students’ participation in wikis during their two-month social studies unit co-taught by two teachers as part of a larger action research project. Using an analysis of 42 grades 5 and 6 students working together in eight wiki writing groups, we report on the frequency and types of revisions they made to collaboratively-written essays, and the distribution of the workload across group members in each of the wiki groups. Discussion data with 16 students from these wiki groups helps contextualize our analysis.
Our findings suggest that given their extended time to write, students revised frequently, making replacements more often than they deleted, added or moved content. Students indicated a willingness to change others’ contributions and to have their own contributions revised by others in order to improve the quality of the essays. The majority of their revisions were at the word level, rather than at sentence, paragraph, and whole-text levels. One student in each group contributed significantly more frequently than any other group member. There were no gender or grade patterns in the frequencies or types of contributions that students made to the wikis.
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