Datorstöd i skrivandet: En longitudinell studie på grundskolan och gymnasieskolan
Sammanfattning: This dissertation studies the effects that the use of a word-processing program can have on pupils' writing. The study was conducted with a consideration of the context in which the writing was done. It examined not just changes in the quality of the pupils' writing but also the attitudes of pupils, teachers, and parents to computer-aided writing. In addition, it studied the functional reliability and ease of handling of the system, as well as computer use in a gender perspective. The study also discusses some theories which can be applied to the use of computers in learning. The study had an experimental design with a pre-test and a post-test in the form of essays. The participants were pupils in comprehensive school (1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th years) and upper secondary school (1st year). The study lasted for a year and half in comprehensive school and a year in upper secondary school. The computer used for the project was a Macintosh. Criteria for assessing the pupils' essays were: number of different words, number of words, and number of words outside the 1,000 most frequent words in Swedish. In addition, the essays were assessed by a teacher. At the junior and intermediate level (excluding beginners) the pupils with computer assistance wrote significantly better essays than pupils using pen and paper (p=0.002). Their essays were also significantly longer and had more unusual words (p=0.000). At upper secondary school there was no significant difference between the groups as regards either the quality or the length of the essays. However, the test group had significantly more unusual words in their essays than the control group. The analysis of the association of computer use with gender shows a significant difference among the beginners: girls were more favoured by computer support. At other stages there was no significant difference. This study shows that pupils with computer support dare to experiment more with their vocabulary. The questionnaire surveys indicate that this is because the pupils feel freer when they write on computer: they have more control over their writing.
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