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From cooperation to collaboration: investigating collaborative group writing and social knowledge construction in pre-service teachers

Abstract

The rapid development of social media tools has drawn much research interest in teacher education. This development has suggested that a wiki with discussion (i.e., an enhanced wiki) seems valuable in facilitating online collaborative and interactive learning. This study examined dynamic patterns of revision behavior in group writing by distinguishing two forms of interaction, cooperation, and collaboration. We tried to explore the links between revision behaviors in group writing and the social construction of knowledge in online discussions. Data from 30 pre-service teachers in a wiki project that lasted for three months were analyzed by using content analysis with visual techniques. Results suggested that the dynamics of revision behavior have evidently moved from cooperation toward collaboration during group writing activities. Compared with the low-collaboration group, discussions of the high-collaboration group demonstrated a gradual pattern of knowledge construction and revealed more metacognitive and social interaction features. This study contributed to existing group learning research and also shed light on collaborative writing pedagogy.

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Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support from the editors and reviewers from this wonderful journal. Special thanks go to Prof. Charles Xiaoxue Wang from Florida Gulf Coast University for critical reading and helpful comments for manuscript revision. In addition, this study is sponsored by Peak Discipline Construction Project of Education at East China Normal University.

Funding

This work was supported by the Peak Discipline Construction Project of Education at East China Normal University. We are grateful to Prof. Xiaoxue Wang, Prof. Lin Lin, Prof. Tristan Johnson for their insightful comments on this manuscript. We also thank the course instructor and participants for their cooperation in this research project.

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All authors have made substantial contributions to the conception, design of the study, and manuscript. JL and YY collected and analyzed the empirical data and were responsible of the results section. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Xiaoqing Gu.

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Leng, J., Yi, Y. & Gu, X. From cooperation to collaboration: investigating collaborative group writing and social knowledge construction in pre-service teachers. Education Tech Research Dev 69, 2377–2398 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-021-10020-9

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Keywords

  • Collaborative group writing
  • Collaborative learning
  • Cooperative learning
  • Social knowledge construction
  • Preservice teacher