One wiki, two groups: Dynamic interactions across ESL collaborative writing tasks
Abstract With the growing importance of Web 2.0 tools for communication and collaboration, small group writing using one such tool—the wiki—has been increasingly implemented in second language classes. A few researchers have examined group interactions during wiki-based collaborative writing, but little research has explored changes in interaction patterns that occur when students perform multiple wiki writing tasks. This study investigates two ESL groups’ interactions during two collaborative writing tasks that used a Wikispaces site in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course at an American university. We examined the dynamics of peer interaction across writing tasks for each group by inspecting (1) language functions performed during task negotiation, (2) writing change functions performed during text co-construction, (3) scaffolding strategies, and (4) changes in patterns of interaction across tasks. Data included wiki modules, interviews, and reflection papers. Our analyses show that two ESL groups working on identical tasks in the same wiki space enacted strikingly different patterns of interaction and that those patterns changed within each group across two tasks. We discuss these dynamics with reference to the fluidity of scaffolding occurring within small groups. This study fills a gap in computer-mediated collaborative writing research and also sheds new light on networked writing pedagogy.