American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting
Theme: Leveraging Educational Research in a “Post-Truth” Era: Multimodal Narratives to Democratize Evidence
April 5-9, 2019
Title: "Who Wants to Be the Leader?" How Middle School Students Plan for Online Collaborative Writing (Paper)
Roundtable Session: Digital Composing: Navigating Collaboration, Performance, and Identity
Authors: Jenell Krishnan, Soobin Yim, Rebecca Black
Abstract: Online collaborative writing reflects current educational initiatives and positions students as partners in the writing process. Yet, little is known about how middle school students plan together online and how their planning behaviors are associated with their written text. This study explores the online writing discourse patterns of three 8th grade groups as they plan to write a source-based argumentative essay in Google Docs. Discourse analytic tools including power dynamics, pronoun usage, and discourse markers were used to uncover ways that students negotiated leadership, and assigned or assumed writing responsibilities. Results suggest teachers can support online collaborative writers by encouraging democratic decision-making, creating a cohesive plan agreed to by all, and providing group access when drafting outside a shared document.