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University Students’ Conceptions and Practice of Collaborative Work on Writing
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Higher Education, ISSN 1927-6044, Vol. 2, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A number of studies attest to the relevance and benefits of group work and collaboration in various learning processes. However, in terms of higher education teaching and learning, the question often remains of what kind of group work or what type of collaboration is amenable to student learning. Building on three research-based conceptualizations of collaboration in student writing, the present study aims to explore how students in a Rwandan university context plan, organize and carry out group work while writing. The study involved 16 second year undergraduate students divided in four writing groups. The data were collected by means of open-ended interviews conducted with the four groups of students after they had handed in their written essays and obtained the feedback and the marks. The findings show that students mostly relied on the co-publishing form of collaboration in their groups, which was probably dictated by their lack of sufficient information on the meaning and relevance of collaboration. Some suggestions are made on what can be done so that university students benefit fully from group-based learning and collaboration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 2, no 2
Keyword [en]
Academic writing, higher education, process writing, Rwanda, writing discourses, writing activity
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91278DOI: 10.5430/ijhe.v2n2p13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-91278DiVA: diva2:616779
Available from: 2013-04-18 Created: 2013-04-18 Last updated: 2014-11-12
In thesis
1. Understanding Group-based Learning in an Academic Context: Rwandan Students’ Reflections on Collaborative Writing and Peer Assessment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Group-based Learning in an Academic Context: Rwandan Students’ Reflections on Collaborative Writing and Peer Assessment
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Att förstå gruppbaserat lärande i en akademisk kontext : Universitetsstudenter i Rwanda reflekterar över kollaborativt skrivande och inbördes bedömning
Abstract [en]

The overarching aim of the present thesis is to gain knowledge about how Rwandan university students understand and practice group-based learning. Specifically, this research takes a social constructivist perspective when examining how second year students within the area of Modern Languages reflect on collaborative writing and peer assessment as means to promote academic writing and active learning. Four studies make up this research. Thus, Study I examines how students carry out self-directed group work in writing. Study II investigates how instructor-guided writing groups can help promote students’ collaborative learning. Study III explores in what ways process writing as instruction method can help develop students’ academic writing abilities and Study IV focuses on how students experience peer assessment and peer feedback on group writing. The data, which are qualitative, were collected by means of interviews carried out with groups of students. The findings show that students perceive and conduct group-based learning in different ways, which can impact the quality of their learning. Also, based on initial support and guidance from the course instructor, most students acknowledged having been able to take stock of their common writing abilities and understand in what ways peer assessment and peer feedback can help them improve, and thus enrich their learning. A few students considered the common writing process time consuming though. In conclusion, some strategies are suggested to further improve group-based learning.

Abstract [sv]

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling är att söka kunskap om hur universitetsstudenter i Rwanda förstår och praktiserar gruppbaserat lärande. Teoretiskt utgår den från ett socialkonstruktivistiskt perspektiv med särskilt fokus riktat mot hur studenter inom ämnesområdet moderna språk reflekterar över kollaborativt skrivande och inbördes bedömning som ett sätt att främja akademiskt skrivande och aktivt lärande. Avhandlingen består av fyra studier. I studie I undersöks studenters reflektioner över hur deras självstyrda skrivande i grupp genomförs. Studie II belyser lärarens roll i lärarlett skrivande i grupp och hur det kan påverka studenters kollaborativa lärande. I studie III studeras på vilket sätt metoder som synliggör skrivprocessen kan stödja studenters utveckling inom akademiskt skrivande. Studie IV fokuserar hur studenter erfar inbördes bedömning av skrivande i grupp. Data består av kvalitativa intervjuer genomförda med grupper av studenter under deras andra högskoleår Resultaten visar att studenterna uppfattar och genomför gruppbaserat lärande på olika sätt vilket kan påverka kvaliteten på deras lärande. Givet ett initialt stöd och vägledning från läraren som grund, bekräftade de flesta studenterna att de i grupparbetet kunde utnyttja sin gemensamma skrivförmåga och förstå på vilket sätt inbördes utvärdering kan hjälpa dem att förbättra sitt skrivande och därmed berika deras lärande. Vissa ansåg dock att den gemensamma skrivprocessen var tidsödande. Avslutningsvis föreslås strategier som kan användas för att ytterligare förbättra ett gruppbaserat lärande.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 67 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 174
Keyword
Group-based learning, higher education, student-initiated groups, instructor-guided group work, collaborative writing, peer assessment, Rwanda, Gruppbaserat lärande, högre utbildning, studentstyrda grupper, lärarlett grupparbete, kollaborativt skrivande, inbördes bedömning, Rwanda
National Category
Educational Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91282 (URN)978-91-7519-633-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-14, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-19 Created: 2013-04-18 Last updated: 2013-05-06Bibliographically approved

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Mutwarasibo, Faustin

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