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Title:Synchronous and Asynchronous Conferencing: A Comparison of Two Modes of Online ESL Peer Response and Their Effects on Student Talk and Subsequent Text Revision
Author(s):Lin, Jia-Ying
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Violet Harris
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Abstract:Since the early 1990s, online peer response has increasingly received research interest. However, past studies have been mainly concerned with the effects of synchronous conferencing for promoting student writing activities and have ignored the fact that asynchronous tools have been increasingly used in educational contexts in the last decade (Branon & Essex, 2001). Motivated by this gap in previous research, the present study investigated the differences of mediating effects between synchronous (chat room) and asynchronous (web-based bulletin board) communication with the aim of discovering potentials of each technology in facilitating student revision processes. Fourteen students in a college-level ESL academic writing class participated in the study. They rotated the use of the two technologies for four peer response sessions in a semester. Primary data collected were student online talk transcripts and writing products. Secondary data, questionnaires, retrospective interviews and student journals, were examined to discover students' perceptions of the role that the different media played in the writing classroom. The study yielded the following findings: (a) the media shaped the way students talked in terms of use of language functions and conversational focuses; (b) the media did not have direct impact on students' subsequent revisions. Rather its interactional effect with task (i.e., a particular medium is more appropriate for certain types of task discussion than others) might facilitate peer influence on revision; (c) a majority of the participants favored the chat room over the bulletin board due to the synchronity (i.e., instantaneous feedback) and usability (i.e., better control) inherent in the chat-room program; (d) in addition to media preferences, other factors such as partner and value of peer feedback played a part in influencing students' perceptions of online peer response. Overall, the study suggests a complex relationship among media, peer talk and student revisions that educators should be aware of when they undertake online peer review in the classroom.
Issue Date:2005
Description:154 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3182316
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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