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Influence of Using Online Tools for Self-Regulated Strategy Development on Emergent Researchers' Academic Writing
Learners with self-regulation skills have better academic writing achievement levels. With the advances in technology, online tools are designed to support EFL writers’ academic writing. Systematic trainings on self-regulated strategy development and the applications of online tools into academic writing have been suggested. Online tools were introduced and integrated into two academic writing courses in a university in northwest Taiwan. Twenty-six seniors and twelve first-year graduate students were recruited based on the convenience sampling method. Moving beyond the current empirical studies on self-regulated strategy development on academic writing on one specific writing process, this case study explored the influence of using online tools for fostering these participants’ self-regulated strategy development and academic writing from outlining, drafting, and revising. The descriptive analysis of the questionnaire and thematic analysis of the qualitative data (e.g. the instructor’s PowerPoint slides, participants’ learning records on self-regulated tools, and participants’ writing tasks) reached the following conclusions. First, participants tended to use online tools to self-monitor and self-correct their writing, rather than peer-review. Secondly, with the instructor’s instruction on the structure of academic writing via PowerPoint slides, participants were more motivated to use online tools (e.g. Linggle, Grammarly, Endnote, Google checklist) to structure their academic writing. Thirdly, participants’ educational background and past learning experience affected their motive and attitude toward self-regulated strategy development in academic writing. To effectively improve emergent researchers’ academic writing, two major suggestions were proposed.