Writing Aides

This category includes articles that examined the use of writing tools (e.g., word prediction software and smart pens) to enhance learning and improve student outcomes.

Cognitive tools for writing: Scaffolding the performance of students through technology

Jun 28, 2013, 14:04 PM
Englert, C. S., Wu, X., & Zhao, Y. (2005). Cognitive tools for writing: Scaffolding the performance of students through technology. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 20(3), 184-198.

Characteristics

  • Twelve 4th and 5th grade students with diagnosed learning disabilities and IEP goals in writing participated in the study.
  • This study evaluated the effects of using Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments on the Web (TELE-Web), a web-based program, to increase the writing performance of students with learning disabilities.
  • TELE-Web is a program that elementary students can use to facilitate the writing process.
  • The program offers prompts, text-to-speech features, and instructional scaffolding used to highlight the key features that should be included when writing.
  • More specifically, this study sought to determine the effectiveness of using the web-based scaffolding program by comparing students’ personal narrative papers using paper and pencil, unsupported writing on the computer, and web-based writing using TELE-Web.

Setting

  • The study took place in the students’ resource room at an urban elementary school.

Method

  • All participants had been introduced to the components of writing a personal narrative 2 months prior to the experiment during classroom instruction.
  • Prior to the experimental phase, students were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Group1 wrote a personal narrative using paper and pencil first, Group 2 wrote using an unscaffolded computer program first, and Group 3 wrote using the scaffolded TELE-Web program first.
  • All students wrote 3 personal narratives over the course of 3 weeks, writing one paper using each of the writing support conditions.
  • During the TELE-Web condition, students were prompted to provide a topic sentence and supporting details for each new paragraph, and were prompted to provide a concluding sentence at the end of their text.
  • During the TELE-Web condition, students were also able to view brief prompts constructed by teacher which provided them with reminders about how to engage in the writing process (e.g., “use who, what, when, where, how to help you”).
  • The TELE-Web program also allowed students to use an optional spell checker, a text-to-speech function, use a web-based space to post drafts, and submit their final draft online.
  • Each paper was evaluated according to the quality of the: (1) title, (2) paper introduction, (3) inclusion of relevant details, (4) conclusion, and (5) overall organization.

Results

  • Results revealed that students included significantly more details in the TELE-Web condition than the unsupported computer condition and the paper and pencil condition.
  • In addition, students were more likely to use titles and better organization in the TELE-Web condition than they were when writing using pencil and paper.
  • While students were able to demonstrate some gains by merely being able to write the story on a computer without scaffolded supported, they were not able to perform as well as they did when they used the scaffolded TELE-Web program while writing.
Categories:
  • Writing
Tags:

Computer Assisted Instruction

Cognitive tools for writing: Scaffolding the performance of students through technology

Jun 28, 2013, 14:04 PM
Englert, C. S., Wu, X., & Zhao, Y. (2005). Cognitive tools for writing: Scaffolding the performance of students through technology. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 20(3), 184-198.

Characteristics

  • Twelve 4th and 5th grade students with diagnosed learning disabilities and IEP goals in writing participated in the study.
  • This study evaluated the effects of using Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments on the Web (TELE-Web), a web-based program, to increase the writing performance of students with learning disabilities.
  • TELE-Web is a program that elementary students can use to facilitate the writing process.
  • The program offers prompts, text-to-speech features, and instructional scaffolding used to highlight the key features that should be included when writing.
  • More specifically, this study sought to determine the effectiveness of using the web-based scaffolding program by comparing students’ personal narrative papers using paper and pencil, unsupported writing on the computer, and web-based writing using TELE-Web.

Setting

  • The study took place in the students’ resource room at an urban elementary school.

Method

  • All participants had been introduced to the components of writing a personal narrative 2 months prior to the experiment during classroom instruction.
  • Prior to the experimental phase, students were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Group1 wrote a personal narrative using paper and pencil first, Group 2 wrote using an unscaffolded computer program first, and Group 3 wrote using the scaffolded TELE-Web program first.
  • All students wrote 3 personal narratives over the course of 3 weeks, writing one paper using each of the writing support conditions.
  • During the TELE-Web condition, students were prompted to provide a topic sentence and supporting details for each new paragraph, and were prompted to provide a concluding sentence at the end of their text.
  • During the TELE-Web condition, students were also able to view brief prompts constructed by teacher which provided them with reminders about how to engage in the writing process (e.g., “use who, what, when, where, how to help you”).
  • The TELE-Web program also allowed students to use an optional spell checker, a text-to-speech function, use a web-based space to post drafts, and submit their final draft online.
  • Each paper was evaluated according to the quality of the: (1) title, (2) paper introduction, (3) inclusion of relevant details, (4) conclusion, and (5) overall organization.

Results

  • Results revealed that students included significantly more details in the TELE-Web condition than the unsupported computer condition and the paper and pencil condition.
  • In addition, students were more likely to use titles and better organization in the TELE-Web condition than they were when writing using pencil and paper.
  • While students were able to demonstrate some gains by merely being able to write the story on a computer without scaffolded supported, they were not able to perform as well as they did when they used the scaffolded TELE-Web program while writing.
Categories:
  • Writing
Tags: