Using Technology to Facilitate EFL students’ Collaborative Writing in Higher Education

Proceedings of The 6th World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education

Year: 2023



Using Technology to Facilitate EFL students’ Collaborative Writing in Higher Education

Juyoung Lee




During the recent pandemic years of 2020-2023, online collaboration became the common method to work together as it replaces the traditional face-to-face learning environment. Among numerous collaborative technologies, cloud computing has played a key role in a collaborative context, because it enables instructors to communicate with their students to discuss certain learning tasks. The purpose of this study is to examine Chinese EFL students‘ attitudes towards using a collaborative technology in a group project. Undergraduate students (N = 32) in an international college were assigned to small groups to work on a collaborative writing project throughout the semester. A student attitude survey containing 15 items and a student teamwork satisfaction scale containing 15 items with seven open-ended questions regarding their online collaborating experiences were collected during the last week of semester. Results from the questionnaire survey revealed that students favored working collaboratively in an online environment overall, suggesting that the cloud computing tool is a useful online platform for a collaborative writing in terms of file sharing, editing, and communicating with the instructor. However, half of students reported that they were not willing to use it in the future due to unfamiliarity and inconveniences with this new learning tool. This implies that effective collaboration may not naturally happen in a group since students may not use the new software spontaneously to support their collaboration. It is thus suggested that educators should offer guidance and support so that students can adapt to a new online learning environment easily.

keywords: Collaborative learning, online collaboration, EFL writing, action research, higher education