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2003 The Effect of Computers on Student Writing:-A Meta-Analysis of Studies from 1992 to 2002

Date: February 2003
Author: Amie Goldberg, Michael Russell & Abigail Cook
Keywords: achievement, writing


Meta-analyses were performed including 26 studies conducted between 1992-2002 focused on the comparison between k-i2 students writing with computers vs. paper-and-pencil.

Key Findings:

* This article indicates that the writing process is more collaborative, iterative, and social in computer classrooms as compared with paper-and-pencil environments.

* For educational leaders questioning whether computers should be used to help stu-dents develop writing skills, the results of the meta-analyses suggest that, on average, students who use computers when learning to write are not only more engaged and motivated in their writing, but they produce written work that is of greater length and higher quality.

* On average, the effect of writing with computers on both the quality and quantity of writing was larger for middle and high school students than for elementary school students.

* While teachers undoubtedly play an important role in helping students develop their writing skills, the analyses presented here suggest that when students write with computers, they engage in the revising of their work throughout the writing process, more frequently share and receive feedback from their peers, and benefit from teacher input earlier in the writing process.

* Thus, while there is clearly a need for systematic and high quality research on computers and student learning, those studies that met the rigorous criteria for inclusion in our meta-analyses suggest that computers are valuable tools for helping students develop writing skills.

Source Article: http://escholarship.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=jtla