Author

Ahdab Saaty

Date of Award

12-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Lilia P. Savova

Second Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth

Third Advisor

Matthew A. Vetter

Abstract

This study explores its participants’ task-based linear wiki-afforded collaborative writing experiences as well as their perceptions of these experiences. Its pre-task survey establishes the preparedness for collaboration of its participants, nine Saudi female TESOL graduate students working in three groups. Further, its mock writing task draws information about the design of its task, an asynchronous collaborative essay to be written within the Wikispaces (www.wikispaces.com) wikis and about the management of its wiki reply protocol from multiple-threaded to linear. To complete the study’s collaborative writing task, first, in the wiki “Discussion” module, the participants generate and negotiate five essay topics, hence, the content analysis of their ESL challenges-related topics and the discourse analysis of their negotiation consensus-driven strategies during the brainstorming and outlining of their essay. To explore the nature of the participants’ collaboration, their discussion notes from the wiki “Discussion” module are also subjected to discourse analysis and mined for particular collaboration strategies that the participants might adopt. Further, in the wiki “History” module, to understand the collaborative process during the actual co-construction of each group’s essay, the writing changes (e.g., drafting, revising, and editing) are subjected to rhetorical analysis. Finally, to understand the participants’ collaborative writing experiences, content analysis is applied in comparing their perceptions of their experiences to their actual collaborative performance. The study’s results include: One, a vigorous discussion of potential essay topics using negotiation strategies (e.g., making the first offer, focusing on the target, ranking priorities, making a counter-offer, and reaching a final agreement); Two, a varied use of collaborative writing activities (e.g., brainstorming, outlining, drafting, revising, and editing); Three: a flexible use of collaborative writing strategies (e.g., single-author, sequential single-author, parallel, and reactive) in the essay planning and co-construction; and, Four: the participants’ perceptions of their collaborative writing experiences that emphasize their wiki-based co-construction of a text as a unique, qualitatively different product, a hybrid rather than a mixture of its individual contributions, one that also needs careful planning and design for specific contexts. Finally, this study details theoretical and practical implications for further research.

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