Writing development of Arab and Jewish students using cooperative learning (CL) and computer-mediated communication (CMC)

Rachel Hertz-Lazarowitz, Irit Bar-Natan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Writing has become central in today's schools as a measure for academic success. In this study 599 5th- And 6th-grade students, 210 Jews and 389 Arabs (310 boys and 289 girls), studied in three learning environments: cooperative learning (CL), computer-mediated communication (CMC), and the combination of CMC and CL. The students reported on their perception of and attitudes to writing. Their teachers evaluated their students as writers, and scored their portfolio writing outcomes. Measures included (1) students' perceptions of writing (SPWC), a 38-item self-report measure on writing apprehension, efficacy, selfregulation, and writing with computer derived from the study of writing; Alpha coefficient 0.90; (2) teachers' assessments of their students as writers (6 items); (3) portfolio evaluation. All students answered the SPWC twice in a pre-post test design in their first language (Arabic or Hebrew), and teachers gave their evaluation at the end of the year. Repeated measure of Manova was used for students' data and Anova for teachers' data. Findings using Multivariate repeated measures showed those students in CMC-CL scored higher on all measures. Teachers' evaluation was similar for CMC and the combined learning environment. Arab students were similar to Jewish students on some of the measures. Surprisingly, no differences were found for gender. The findings indicate that the power of peer interaction in cooperative learning with CMC was greater than each learning environment by itself. The quality implementation of these two (computer and peers) is the key element for students' writing development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)19-36
    Number of pages18
    JournalComputers and Education
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jul 2002

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    The authors will like to thank all the schools, principals, teachers and children who participate in the study. The project was supported by the northern district of the ministry of Education and Culture, by the participating municipalities, and by the University of Haifa. We thank Ayalla Ruvio for her work on the analysis of the data.


    • Computer mediated communication (CMC)
    • Cooperative learning (CL)
    • Jews and arabs
    • Students perception on writing (SPWC)
    • Writing development

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Computer Science
    • Education


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