Collaboration Two-Way: Workload and Co-ownership in L2 Wiki Writing

Nike Arnold, Lara Ducate, Claudia Kost

Abstract


Collaborative writing has been found to lead to more productive writing processes and enhanced final products in terms of a richer vocabulary, more accurate grammar, and better organization. The present study expands on this research strand by exploring if different group writing processes affect the quality of wiki texts composed by groups of intermediate German L2 learners. Defining true collaborative writing as involving both a balanced workload and a joint responsibility for the product from all group members, it measured collaboration in two ways. Results indicate that most of the 19 groups in this study had a somewhat unbalanced workload with wide variability in editing group members’ contributions. Although the wiki texts differed greatly with regard to quantitative measures of length, accuracy and cohesion, no correlation was found in terms of workload or co-ownership. While holistic ratings of the texts concerning accuracy and cohesion seemed at times incongruent with the analytic measures, the raters’ comments provided a perspective that captured facets and nuances of a text that the analytic indicators did not.


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