Date of Award

Fall 12-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Kelli R. Paquette

Second Advisor

Susan E. Fello

Third Advisor

Susan M. Sibert

Abstract

This study compared the reading motivation, sense of classroom community, and reading comprehension of fourth grade students who responded to literature circle prompts on a blog to those students who responded traditionally, using pencil and paper. A sequential, mixed-methods study was employed in which surveys, measuring reading motivation and classroom community, were administered before reading an assigned novel and beginning literature circle work and again after reading the text and completing literature circle responses. Additionally, post-test comprehension scores were collected from all participants, and teacher and student interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study.

The quantitative results of the study showed no significant differences in reading motivation, sense of classroom community, or reading comprehension between the blogging and traditional response groups. Likewise, there were no significant differences in scores representative of reading motivation and sense of classroom community from the beginning of the study to the end of the study for either response group. The teacher and student interviews, however, suggested that reading motivation of the blogging group may have been positively affected as students took initiative to complete literature circle work outside of school even though it had not been formally assigned. Results from the focus group interviews also suggested that a sense of classroom community was developed among all participants and that the sense of classroom community among the blogging group members was particularly strong. Moreover, interview results showed that critical thinking may have increased for the blogging group members as they progressed through the study. These findings, along with overwhelmingly positive comments from the blogging participants, suggested that further studies related to blogging in response to literature are of interest and that academic blogging is a valuable teaching tool.

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