Prospective teachers’ insights towards scaffolding students’ writing processes through teacher–student role reversal in an online system

Research Article


Teachers are encouraged to plan their teaching based on students’ needs from the student-centered perspectives. Of the many teacher training programs, teacher–student role reversal is regarded as one of the most effective avenues to help teachers identify students’ learning difficulties and further provide adaptive instruction. However, as the role reversal process is difficult to document in the face-to-face environment due to its interactive and dynamic property, very few studies on teacher–student role reversal have been empirically conducted. Studies on this issue thus were mainly presented in the form of position papers or experience sharing entries. The purpose of this study was to explore prospective teachers’ (PT) role reversal experience within the computer-supported (CS) environment. In the CS environment, 14 PT were invited to play the role as student Writers, Editors, and Commentators. The results showed that the teacher–student role reversal activities provided the PTs with a first-hand experience to formulate and reformulate their professional knowledge through reflection. By reflecting on their role-reversal, the PTs could identify the difficulties that impeded students’ writing and generated the insights on how they could better scaffold their students’ writing, editing, and revising process. With the feature of the process data, the CS environment was found to effectively support teacher–student role reversal as the PTs employed the process data, such as action logs or written texts, to reflect on their role play process to probe into the students’ writing problems and develop insights into pedagogy.


Role reversal Writing process Student-centered perspectives Prospective teachers Computer-supported environment 



This study was part of a larger study, supported by National Science Council in the Republic of China, Taiwan (NSC 96-2411-H-224-015). The research grant made the continuation of this study possible.


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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Applied Foreign LanguagesNational Yunlin University of Science and TechnologyDouliuTaiwan, ROC

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