The Effects of Peer Collaboration on Community College Freshmen's Writing, Socialization, and Attitudes

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Thompson, Shirley Mae Smith
Slater, Wayne
This was a study investigating the effects of peer collaboration on 15 community college freshmen's narrative writing, on their socialization, and on their attitudes toward writing during a semester freshman composition course. One narrative writing sample was collected at the beginning of the semester and a second was collected near the end of the semester. An attitude survey also was administered at the beginning and at the end of the semester. In addition, eleven class sessions during the semester were observed and audio taped by the researcher. A student in the writing class served as a key informant to assist in assessing the validity and reliability of the researcher's observations. Interviews with the teacher were held also. The writing samples were scored holistically; the attitude surveys were analyzed; and the researcher's observations and audio tapes were analyzed and interpreted in concert with the observations made by the key informant and the teacher. Writing Sample A revealed a 1.86 average score; Writing Sample B revealed a 2.35 average score, a difference of .49. Attitude Survey A revealed a 3.29 mean; Attitude Survey B revealed a 3.75 mean, a difference of .46. Observations and interviews verified the writing sample and survey results. Results suggest that peer collaboration may have had a positive effect on students' writing, their socialization, and their attitudes toward writing.