Online discussion boards foster critical views in students' research writing

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: Margaret M. Strain


Technology is becoming an essential tool in everyday lifestyles. Daily tasks are now utilizing phones, computers, televisions, and game systems for social interaction, individual achievement or entertainment, and education. School systems are integrating more technology in classrooms and instruction to meet the demands of an expanding digital society. Twenty-three eighth grade students participated in the study, which observed how blogs can foster audience awareness and revision during students' research paper writing process. While conducting peer conferencing on research papers, students' blog posts were observed and analyzed. According to the questionnaires and blog comment analysis, students preferred peer conferencing through blogs. In a comparison of the face-to-face conferencing groups to the blog groups, blog responses had greater detail, resulting in constant dialogue and sustained problem-solving rhetorical solutions in students' peer comments. From the twenty-three participants, two case studies were developed from two students who have different learning levels, but benefited academically through the blog. The two case studies demonstrated that students attained success as writers, readers, and motivators for others through the blog. This suggests that the online discussion boards can be a useful tool for the classroom instruction of research writing.


Group work in education Case studies, Composition (Language arts) Computer-assisted instruction Case studies, Composition (Language arts) Study and teaching Case studies, Students Blogs Case studies

Rights Statement

Copyright © 2011, author