Asynchronous Online Peer Written Corrective Feedback: Effects and Affects

Asynchronous Online Peer Written Corrective Feedback: Effects and Affects

Shahin Vaezi (Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran) and Ehsan Abbaspour (Iran University of Science and Technology, Iran)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8519-2.ch012
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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there is any statistically significant difference between the effects of asynchronous online peer WCF through blogging and face-to-face peer WCF on the writing achievement of Iranian EFL learners. The study also investigated the extent to which students revise their writings based on peer comments provided. This study also measured the attitude of students towards peer WCF through blogging as compared with that of the participants receiving face-to-face peer WCF. The findings indicated that there is no statistically significant difference between the effects of face-to-face and asynchronous online peer WCF on the writing achievement of the Iranian EFL learners. In terms of the extent of incorporating the peer comments in their final drafts, the participants in the FF group incorporated more of the comments they received into their second drafts in comparison with the OL group. Finally, it was revealed that the participants of each group generally expressed their satisfaction with both methods of peer review.
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Introduction

E-learning courses are attempting to find their stance in the milieu of EFL learning and teaching in Iran. In order to promote Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL), studies need to be carried out on this area of enquiry in general and on online EFL writing courses in specific. Writing stands out among the four basic skills of language learning.

As Warschauer (2010) indicates, writing is of great significance for L2 learners for three reasons. First, writing well is a vital skill for academic or occupational success. Second, writing can be an effective tool for the development of academic language proficiency. Third, writing across the curriculum can be invaluable for mastering diverse subject matter, as written expression allows learners to raise their awareness of knowledge gaps, abstract problem-specific knowledge, and elaborate mental representations of knowledge that can be more easily retrieved.

Moreover, robust student-student and student-teacher interaction is a must for teaching and learning to take place effectively (Long, 1996). As e-learning courses are devoid of the face-to-face teaching situations, negotiations are almost always in the form of teacher-student interactions. Thus, the academic community (Abu Bakar, Latif, & Ya’acob, 2010; Godwin-Jones, 2003; Guardado & Shi, 2007) are still looking into the issue to find efficient ways to foster more interaction in CALL supported situations.

Nevertheless, face-to-face method of peer Written Corrective Feedback (WCF) is one of the relatively well-researched aspects of WCF. Asynchronous online peer WCF has not attracted sufficient attention on behalf of the ESL/EFL researchers.

The present study was undertaken to investigate whether there is any statistically significant difference between the effects of asynchronous online peer written corrective feedback through blogging and traditional face-to-face peer feedback on the short-term writing achievement of Iranian EFL learners. In addition, the types of peer feedback that students provided through blogging and face-to-face interaction, and the extent to which students receiving the feedback revised their work according to it were examined. Since attitude plays a crucial role in accepting the norms, the attitude of the students towards peer written corrective feedback through blogging was also assessed.

The present study aims at answering the following questions:

  • 1.

    Is there any significant difference between the effects of providing peer written corrective feedback through blogging and face-to-face peer written corrective feedback on short-term writing achievement of Iranian EFL learners?

  • 2.

    What types of comments as peer written corrective feedback are provided more frequently through asynchronous online peer written corrective feedback as compared to face-to-face peer written corrective feedback?

  • 3.

    To what extent do the learners revise their writings based on the peer feedback they received in form of blog comments as compared to the comments they received via face-to-face interaction?

  • 4.

    What are the Iranian EFL learners’ attitudes towards asynchronous online peer written corrective feedback provided through blogging and face-to-face peer written corrective feedback?

Key Terms in this Chapter

Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL): The use of a computer in the teaching or learning of a second or foreign language.

Face-to-Face Peer Written Corrective Feedback: This method of providing peer feedback refers to the traditional method of peer review in which the students in the classroom after accomplishment of the writing task, exchange their papers and based on the teacher’s instructions comment on their classmates’ writings.

Peer Written Corrective Feedback: Peer feedback is a process where students read drafts written by their fellow students and give each other suggestions to improve the writing ( Lee, 1997 ). Terms such as peer review or peer response also refer to the same concept.

Written Corrective Feedback (WCF): Written corrective feedback is the input from a reader to a writer with the effect of providing information to the writer for revision. In other words, it is the comments, questions, and suggestions a reader gives a writer to produce reader-based prose as opposed to writer-based prose ( Keh, 1990 ).

Feedback: Feedback refers to comments or other information that learners receive concerning their success on learning tasks or tests, either from the teacher or other persons (Richards & Schmidt, 2010 AU78: The in-text citation "Richards & Schmidt, 2010" is not in the reference list. Please correct the citation, add the reference to the list, or delete the citation. , p. 217).

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): “Computer-mediated communication refers to any form of communication between two or more individuals who interact and/or influence each other via separate computers through the Internet or a network connection, using social software” ( Akayoglu & Altun, 2008 , p. 292).

Asynchronous Online Peer Written Corrective Feedback: This method refers to the process of providing peer review in which the students after accomplishment of the writing tasks submit them to the teacher (via email) and the teacher posts the writings on a weblog and other students are required to comment on them based on the teacher’s instructions.

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