Using learning analytics to support engagement in collaborative writing

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 2017, 15 (4), pp. 79 - 99
Issue Date:
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© 2017, IGI Global. Online collaborative writing tools provide an efficient way to complete a writing task. However, existing tools only focus on technological affordances and ignore the importance of social affordances in a collaborative learning environment. This article describes a learning analytic system that analyzes writing behaviors, and creates visualizations incorporating individual engagement awareness and group ranking awareness (social affordance), and review writing behaviour history (technological affordance), to support student engagement. Studies examined the performance of the system used by university students in two collaborative writing activities: Collaboratively writing a project proposal (N = 41) and writing tutorial discussion answers (N = 25). Results show that students agreed with what the visualization conveys and visualizations enhance their engagement in a collaborative writing activity. In addition, students stated that the visualizations were useful to help them reflect on the writing process and support the assessment of individual contributions.
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