Authors: Binbin Zheng, Mark Warschauer
Presented at 2017 AERA
Abstract: This study examined the synchronous computer-mediated communication (SCMC) of 48 fifth-grade students and their teachers in a public school for large numbers of English learners during the 2009 to 2010 school year. Data collected includes collected all participants’ discussion threads in the first two months and the last two months of the year-long activity. Students’ language complexity was assessed through descriptive statistics and content analysis of student posts. In addition, an epistemic engagement framework using a combination of top-down and bottom-up coding scheme was developed to further examine students’ collaborative engagement in knowledge construction. The results suggest that well-designed online SCMC among linguistically diverse upper elementary students is related to increased complexity in language use and sophistication in interaction.