Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Theory, Policy, and Practice

Document Type



The use of technology in the writing classroom has been a staple since the early-1990’s when the personal computer made its way onto the desks of teachers and students across America. Since that time, the challenge has been for educators to incorporate the most recent technologies in an effort to stimulate student writing. This study examined the effects the use of a web-based wiki technology can have on the writings of high school students. The primary goal of this study was to explore how the web-based collaborative technology in Google Docs and used in a secondary English IV classroom can impact the writing skills of twelfth grade students dually enrolled in a freshman level writing class of a local university. Specifically, the study explored how students writing levels and processes were affected, how they perceived themselves as writers, and the challenges and successes they faced through the wiki-style inclusion. A mixed methods case study design was used. One intact twelfth grade English IV classroom was used for the study (n=15). During the Fall 2009 and the Spring 2010 semesters, data were collected from observations, student interviews, two essays, and two student surveys. Quantitative data were collected from all the 15 class members via student perception surveys and rubric-based assessments of two essays. Qualitative data included open-ended questions on the writing surveys from all of the students; teacher observations of student interactions with each other, the wiki, and the writing; and interviews with six students at three ability levels. Results showed that wiki-based technologies can impact students’ writing processes and their essay results. Strategies inherent to the wiki process can motivate students to be better participants when they know someone else is depending on their input. Another factor was the ease of access. Finally, what seemed especially prevalent in student comments and observation was how peer editing may have contributed to students’ writing progress. The findings of this study support those of previous research. They also underscore the importance of continuing to incorporate modern technologies into the classroom. Other implications for practice are also discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Lou, Yiping



Included in

Education Commons