Enhancing Primary School Students’ Story Writing by Mobile-Assisted Collaborative Learning: A Case Study

  • Wenting Zou
  • Xiaolei LiEmail author
Conference paper


Writing is generally perceived as a daunting task in language learning for primary school children. To improve engagement and activate the writing process, the present study implemented and evaluated the effectiveness of an innovative writing instruction strategy that combines two commonly used collaborative learning practices—collaborative writing and peer assessment—on a mobile learning platform, also described as Mobile-Assisted Collaborative Learning Pedagogy (MACLP). In this quasi-experimental study, two classes of 3rd graders (N = 73) received sessions about Chinese story writing varied in two kinds of instructional designs: MACLP vs. traditional individual and paper-based writing graded by teacher. We compared students’ learning gains after different interventions and probed students’ perceptions towards MACLP in their writing process, with a special focus on whether students with high, average, and low prior Chinese language abilities benefit equally from MACLP.


Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) Collaborative writing Peer assessment Individual difference 


  1. Bonwell, C., & Eison, J. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom (AEHE-ERIC higher education report no. 1). Washington, DC: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  2. Chang, C. C. (2001). A study on the evaluation and effectiveness analysis of web-based learning portfolio (WBLP). British Journal of Educational Technology, 32(4), 435–458.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chang, C. C., Tseng, K. H., Chou, P. N., & Chen, Y. H. (2011). Reliability and validity of Web-based portfolio peer assessment: A case study for a senior high school’s students taking computer course. Computers & Education, 57(1), 1306–1316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, C. H. (2010). The implementation and evaluation of a mobile self- and peer-assessment system. Computers & Education, 55(1), 229–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. De Bernardi, B., & Antolini, E. (2007). Fostering students’ willingness and interest in argumentative writing: An intervention study. Studies in Writing, 19, 183.Google Scholar
  6. De Smedt, F., & Van Keer, H. (2014). A research synthesis on effective writing instruction in primary education. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112, 693–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Denzin, N. (2006). Sociological methods: A sourcebook. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Faigley, L. (1986). Competing theories of process: A critique and a proposal. College English, 48(6), 527–542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fernández Dobao, A., & Blum, A. (2012). Collaborative writing in pairs and small groups: Learners’ attitudes and perceptions. System, 41(2), 365–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). A meta-analysis of writing instruction for adolescent students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99(3), 445–476.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huang, Z. (2008). Calling for true emotions in primary school students’ Chinese writing. Education of Science, 11, 43.Google Scholar
  12. Li, X., Chu, K., Ki, W. W., & Woo, M. M. (2012). Using a wiki-based collaborative process writing pedagogy to facilitate collaborative writing among Chinese primary school students. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(1), 159–181.Google Scholar
  13. Lin, O. P., & Maarof, N. (2013). Collaborative writing in summary writing: Student perceptions and problems. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 90, 599–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Magin, D. J. (2001). A novel technique for comparing the reliability of multiple peer assessments with that of single teacher assessments of group process work. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 26(2), 139–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Paquette, K. (2009). Integrating the 6+1 writing traits model with cross-age tutoring: An investigation of elementary students’ writing development. Literacy Research and Instruction, 48(1), 28–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rice, R. P., & Huguley, J. T. (1994). Describing collaborative forms: A profile of the team-writing process. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 37(3), 163–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sadler, P. M., & Good, E. (2006). The impact of self-and peer-grading on student learning. Educational Assessment, 11(1), 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Schultz, K. (1997). Collaborative writing in an urban elementary classroom. Journal of Literacy Research, 29(2), 253–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Shen, W. T., & Nie, D. Q. (2013). Expression of true personality: The intrinsic requirement of writing instruction. Chinese Teaching & Studies, 13, 77–83.Google Scholar
  20. Storch, N. (2005). Collaborative writing: Product, process, and students’ reflections. Journal of Second Language Writing, 14, 153–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sun, Q. (2008). My opinion towards Chinese writing in primary school. Journal of Educational Institute of Jilin Province, 24(198), 152.Google Scholar
  22. Tompkins, G. E. (2008). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  23. Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Wong, L. H., Chen, W., Chai, C. S., Chin, C. K., & Gao, P. (2011). A blended collaborative writing approach for Chinese L2 primary school students. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 27(7), 1208–1226.Google Scholar
  25. Zheng, W. P. (2008). Current challenges and strategies for writing instruction in primary schools. The Science Education Article Collects, 11, 109–122.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CCC Heep Woh Primary SchoolKowloonHong Kong
  2. 2.The University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations