Item Details

Comparing Web 2.0 applications for peer feedback in language teaching: Google Docs, the Sakai VLE, and the Sakai Wiki

Issue: Vol 9 No. 3 (2017) Multimodality in Electronic Feedback in Writing

Journal: Writing & Pedagogy

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/wap.32352


The use of technology for collaborative writing and the delivery of electronic corrective feedback is becoming widespread in educational settings. However, to date, little research has focused on comparing the suitability of different Web 2.0 applications for technology-enhanced peer feedback. This study explores three free-to-use applications: Google Docs, the Sakai Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and the Sakai Wiki. The study reports on the practicalities and peer reviewers’ experiences of these applications and, most importantly, compares the electronic feedback comments across applications. Seventy-eight English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students at an Austrian university participated in this counterbalanced, repeated-measures study. Over a ten-week period, participants wrote three draft essays, reviewed a peer’s unique draft using each application, and received peer feedback on their own drafts using each application. Comments were coded for the quantity, area, nature, location, and type of feedback. An entrance questionnaire elicited background information, and an exit questionnaire elicited quantitative and qualitative insights into the participants’ comparative experiences. The findings show that each application supports the exchange of peer feedback and that the applications’ feedback modes influence the reviewers’ comment foci. This study should help teachers make more informed decisions about which application is most appropriate for their desired peer feedback learning objectives.

Author: Niki Canham

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