Eighth-grade writers and meaning-making: A study of computer-mediated conferencing and publishing
Lois Juliana Yocum, Iowa State University, United States
Iowa State University . Awarded
A practitioner research methodology characterizes this investigation and analysis. This study is based on observations, interviews, surveys, and analyses of students' writing, and it is grounded in constructivist theory. The purpose of this study is to determine ways in which eighth graders in creative writing, online journalism, and language arts classes find meaning in three activities: (1) computer-mediated collaborative conferencing with distant audiences, (2) publishing their school newspaper on the Internet, and (3) preparing multimedia projects.
This study illustrates the relationships among conducting practitioner research, promoting curriculum change, and encouraging student empowerment through writing for broader audiences. Research in the area of collaborative, computer-assisted writing instruction in middle schools suggests that providing specific, real-world audiences and purposes for students to write promotes a high degree of task-engagement, heightens self-esteem and self-efficacy toward linguistic tasks, and generally improves the quality of students' writing.
This study explores eighth-grade students' perceptions of themselves as collaborative writers/thinkers/workers. It is also the story of an experienced middle school language arts teacher who reflects on her teaching practice to understand the multi-layered complexities of classroom interactions that emerge when she facilitates computer-mediated process writing instruction in a technology-rich, constructivist writing workshop.
Yocum, L.J. Eighth-grade writers and meaning-making: A study of computer-mediated conferencing and publishing. Ph.D. thesis, Iowa State University.
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