Identifier

etd-11182010-131545

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Foreign Languages and Literatures

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The primary goal of this thesis is to investigate the way in which learners interact when asked to work together to write and revise a composition in an online environment. Specifically, the first research question explores the working styles of learners in the context of a wiki. It seeks to determine whether the various dyads work collaboratively or cooperatively to write and revise a composition in Spanish. The second research question deals with the type and degree of politeness that students express towards each other when working together to write and revise their composition. Specifically, it investigates the nature of politeness displayed by the dyads who worked collaboratively when compared to those who worked cooperatively. The interactions/written discourse displayed in the chat logs of each dyad is analyzed to understand how varying degrees of politeness characterized each dyad’s working style. The third research question explored how students interpreted and incorporated instructor feedback that was given to them in the wiki on their first draft of the composition. The scores that each composition received were used to determine which type of group work improved more. Chat logs and interview transcripts were analyzed to answer this question. The results of the study indicate that the majority of students/dyads in this study tended to work collaboratively, meaning they truly worked together to write and revise all parts of their composition to achieve the goal of the project vs. those groups who divided the writing and revision tasks and worked on the compositions in a more individualized manner. It was found that collaborative groups improved more in their compositions. The politeness strategies that collaborative groups used more were those of Strategy 1 (attending to the addressee) and Strategy 10 (offering) as described in Brown and Levinson (1987).

Date

2010

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Thoms, Joshua

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