Collaborative corrections with spelling control: Digital resources and peer assistance



The present study has explored how pairs of students deployed digital tools (spelling software) as resources in spontaneously occurring corrections of spelling errors. Drawing on the sociocultural theory of learning and ethnomethodological (Conversation Analytic) insights into social interaction, it has identified a range of consistent practices and uses of the spelling tools that were emergent in the everyday educational activities. As demonstrated, technology-assisted error corrections constituted a complex situation, where a number of socioculturally significant factors (goals of the task, properties of the software, and physical access to computer applications) shaped the trajectories of joint work. The present analysis shows in detail how the students approached the visually manifested language production errors by using two kinds of software resources, spelling lists, and a diagnostic tool. The inherent conceptual distinctions, characteristic of these tools, configured joint interpretative work and efforts to correct the errors in different ways. Recurrently, the students’ technology-based corrections were designed as autonomous, stepwise, locally improvised problem solutions, which were subsequently submitted for the evaluation of the diagnostic software. Overall, the study shows that the under-specification of the software’s instructions opened a space for the students’ creative engagement. The potentials of joint spelling software-assisted corrections for collaborative learning are discussed.


CSCL Sociocultural theory Interaction analysis Error corrections Spellchecker technological tools 



Thanks are due to Daniel Persson Thunqvist, Per Linell, and the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article. Financial support from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation and The Swedish Research Council programme for the study of Learning and Memory in children and young adults, project “Learning, interaction, and the development of narrative knowing and remembering” is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc.; Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child StudiesLinköping UniversityLinköpingSweden

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