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Participant profiles during collaborative writing

Marttunen, M., Laurinen, L. (2012).
Journal of Writing Research, 4(1), 53-79

When students are composing a collaborative text together and share responsibility for the writing task, cognitive and metacognitive processes become external and visible and thus amenable to research. The aim of this study was to clarify how students interact and how the different student roles and activities are divided up when students engage in collaborative writing face-to-face. In this study 19 university students performed a collaborative writing task in 6 groups consisting of 2-4 students each. The purpose of the task was to assist students in learning the theories of development presented in their course book. The most frequent activities observed during the collaborative writing task were discussing concepts (31%), writing and revising (25%), planning the text (16%) and steering the group's performance (9%). The students engaged rather seldom in evaluative activities and the proportion of off-task talk was also small. Cluster analyses revealed four participant profiles: Cognitively versatile thinkers, Cognitively focused thinkers, Performance steering writers, and Textbook consulters. The participant profiles were the same for all the group members in four groups out of six.We conclude that participant profiles are not individual roles but are dependent on the discursive interaction through which collaborative groups approach the writing task.

PDF | doi: 10.17239/jowr-2012.04.01.3

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