ZOU, Wenting (CCC Heep Woh Primary School (CSW)); LI, Xiaolei (HKU)
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: collaborative writing and peer assessment using tablets 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. The positive results imply that the perceived challenge of pupils’ individual differences in linguistic competence could turn into an advantage through such peer collaboration and assessment activities.