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The aim of this study was to find out whether the use through Wikispaces helps to correct errors made in essay writing by Form Four students of a Smart School in Kinta district, Perak. This final chapter provides a summary of this research study. It is divided into four parts: conclusions, implications, limitations and recommendations for both practice and further research based on the findings discussed in Chapter 4.
The following conclusions are based on the three research questions of the study. Each question and its associated conclusions will be discussed.
Research Question 1-"What are the errors that L2 students frequently edit in essay writing?"
This study has found that grammar is the most frequently edited language aspect in essay writing by the L2 students. Even though, weekly coding sheets and frequency analysis showed different outcomes for DE1 and DE2, Table 4.1 proved that grammar is still considered as the frequently edited language aspect with a total of 307 (37.4%) errors. This is in line with similar findings of several previous studies as mentioned in the literature review (Maros et.al, 2007; Muhari, 2008; Nor Hashimah et. al., 2008; Darus and Subramaniam, 2009; Darus and Khor, 2009; Wee, 2009).
The interview transcripts revealed that the students concentrated more on grammar compared to other language aspects since grammar is indisputably an essential element of second language writing (Frodesen & Christine, 2003). Furthermore, field notes illustrated that the students in this study seem to learn new knowledge of the five language aspects, and they did not repeat the same mistakes in following essay writing. In fact, the students' realization of being critical for other language aspects besides grammar came into an act after gradual practice of peer editing through Wikispaces. Conversely, sentence structure is reported as the hardly used language aspect by the students in the DE1 and DE2.
5.1.2 Research Question 2-"How does the use of peer editing through Wikispaces help in correcting L2 students' writing?"
The findings of this study suggested that in general peer editing through Wikispaces could help to reduce errors in L2 students' writing. The primary findings from the students' essays reported that the students were able to correct most of the errors quite well through online collaborative activity. The language errors identified could be used as a guideline for L2 students to equip themselves with the adequate knowledge and skills in writing essays. They would be benefited the most if they were able to comprehend the conventions and features of this specific context.
However, as for the unidentified errors by students, the teacher plays the critical role in emphasizing them in the classroom. The teacher should clearly explain the rules and give a lot of examples as well as provide ample of opportunity to the students to use, produce and practice on their own. This can be done by getting them involved in various immersion activities in class and outside the classroom. It will eventually help the learners to be more aware of the particular language aspects in their essays. Besides that, there were also tendencies for students to correct errors wrongly when editing other's work. This situation could be overcome through consistent practice of peer editing.
Both questionnaire and feedback forms revealed more positive impressions of the students towards the usefulness of peer editing through Wikispaces in correcting L2 students' writing. Additionally, several characteristics and strengths of Wikispaces also supported the peer editing activity. In short, peer editing through Wikispaces is seen as a valuable learning process which can foster independent learning.
Research Question 3-"How do L2 students respond to the feedback provided by their peers through Wikispaces?"
Based on the analysis of interview transcripts, it can be concluded that majority of the students showed mixed responses when receiving and giving comments on Wikispaces. But overall, the students were satisfied with the kind of comments given by their group members due to several good reasons: comments given were useful, helped them to increase knowledge, correct mistakes in essays. Apart from that, a number of usefulness of the comments and benefits from peer editing and giving comments to others were also pointed out with reference to the selected descriptions taken from the interview transcripts.
In a nutshell, the findings have led the researcher to conclude that the use of peer editing through Wikispaces is an effective alternative way in correcting errors in students' essay writing.
The implications of this study can be best explained by three aspects, namely (i) pedagogy, (ii) social, and (iii) technology. These are elaborated in the paragraphs below.
The use of peer editing through Wikispaces has the potential to uphold various pedagogical approaches such as case based learning, collaborative pedagogy strategy-knowledge co-construction activities.Students
This technique which serves as an accessible alternative way of error correction also supports the designed learning activities that are to perform in any group dynamics. Hence, this allows the students to share, negotiate and co-construct information on error correction in their writing. The peers can even provide suggestions and advices through discussion tab. In other words, the platform itself is considered as an appropriate space for students whereby they can take ownership of their own pages in groups.
Nevertheless, peer editing through Wikispaces helps to promote learning in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). At this point, students enjoy working in groups. They learn more by working in groups rather than they work by themselves. Through the correspondence and collaboration among the group members, the students do stand a chance to discover and learn about the grammatical rules from their peers. Both correct and incorrect versions act as a guide to the students on what is right and what is wrong. In the initial stage, they may make miscategorise the errors, but it will be better after consistent practice.
The students' English proficiency is different in a class, which can be perceived through various errors students have made in their essays. In an ESL teaching context where the classroom population is becoming larger and larger, it's a good channel for a teacher to know his or her students' learning through the errors or mistakes they make. So teachers should make record of these errors and analyze them to find the possible causes of them, and then decide on the proper way to enable students to learn from the errors. In this study, one can see that it's common for students to make the so-called mistakes, and that through peer editing activity such mistakes can be corrected generally, which can not only improve the students language proficiency, but also promote their sense of perfecting the language in writing.
The teacher plays the role of moderator and facilitator. Wikispaces features enable the teacher to track and monitor students' development process (history logs). It helps to keep systematic records of daily reflections, announcements, due dates and attendance.
posting of instructions and other resources (multiple modes) by teachers
a platform for students to rationalize and explain their actions (decisions) in
the course of their activities
Comment feature-allows the teacher to provide feedback when necessary: errors wrongly corrected and errors which are not identified. In addition, it also promotes collaborative learning.
Peer editing through Wikispaces supports a variety of interactions and their dynamics: peer-peer, student-teacher. Students can publish their thoughts and obtain feedback from the others at any time. They do not have to depend much on the teacher. Students can turn to others for help when they encounter problems through asynchronous communication: group discussions and personal messages. It is a safe and comfortable learning environment for students to work within. Students are able to draft and modify postings before and after publishing. This will likely give them time to think, amend and improve on the postings suitable to their audiences or for other specific purposes. Additionally, Wikispaces utilities support group work as well as foster group dynamics' cohesiveness.
The peer editing activity through Wikispaces is a web-based application. Thus, it can be conveniently accessible all time (as long as there is Internet connection). Students could easily learn and use as it does not require any high technical skills to set up the account. Particularly, the text editor toolbar is similar to that of Microsoft Word. This may then serve as an advantage for those students who are computer literate.
5.3 Limitations of the Study
A number of limitations were present in the research. These limitations need to be noted and considered in relation to the research procedures and research findings. Basically, there are three limitations: time constraints, small sample size and limited capacity of doing peer editing on Wikispaces.
Firstly, this research was actually scheduled for eight weeks of data collection. But somehow, the data collection procedures which have been planned earlier could not be carried out due to the school holidays. As a result, the researcher has to shorten the duration to five weeks after negotiating with the administrators of the school. In fact, the researcher decided to spend more time then what has been scheduled in order to give the students more guidance and pace to do their peer editing in the computer lab. Although the latter data collection went on well, but still it would have been better if more time with were provided for the research procedures.
Secondly, the findings are achieved based on the small sample size, covering only one Smart School located in Kinta district, Perak. There are still many Smart Schools located all over Perak and other states. Besides that, there are also many National schools with similar facilities and criterion participants. Therefore, the researcher suggests carrying out further studies on this topic involving other Smart Schools and National Schools in Malaysia.
Thirdly, students were found having some difficulties while doing the peer editing on the same page at one time. It seemed that clashes and overlapping disrupted the students' attention while editing. In this situation, it is vital for the teacher to plan the design of the Wikispaces properly at the initial stage as Wikispaces comes with a blank space. The teacher may group up the students but necessarily assign each student with their own page. This solution will definitely reduce the probability of future clashing during the peer editing sessions.
From the conclusions, the present study proves that the use of peer editing through Wikispaces gives positive implications for the teacher (the researcher) and the students. Therefore, this action which serves as an alternative way in correcting students' errors in writing should be implied in secondary schools. However, several recommendations for practice and thereafter for future research are discussed below.
5.4.1 Recommendations for Practice
As for recommendations, the use of peer editing through Wikispaces should be exposed to teachers in schools. Certainly, there are teachers who are not aware of the benefits of peer editing and giving comments to others in terms of the students' essay writing. Furthermore, some are busy with their daily work. They do not have enough time to spend on trying out this kind of technique with their students. Perhaps, as for the start, it is recommended that may be the head panels should be given the training, and later an in-house training can be given to rest of the teachers.
Other than that, the use of peer editing through Wikispaces is a suitable learning technique that helps and leads the learners to be independent learners. Nowadays, most the students are no longer the quiet and passive ones in the classroom. Students prefer something new, challenging and suit their interest as well. Teachers impart knowledge to the students. Then, students will themselves discover the knowledge on their own and apply them into other matters.
5.4.2 Recommendations for Future Research
In the light of the limitations with regard to the findings available to the researcher, it is recommended that further research related to error correction is needed. It would be interesting to find out theâ€¦A profound study involving each type of â€¦would provide further information on the pattern ofâ€¦in a specific context. The information derived from the findings on language errors was insufficient for making any generalization. In terms of theâ€¦itself, much work needs to be done to uncover some knowledge on the â€¦.With all these studies, hopefully all the underlyingâ€¦can be overturned and bring benefits to all.
This chapter has presented the conclusions, implications, limitations and recommendations for both practice and further research based on the findings discussed in the previous chapter. The conclusions have shown that the use of peer editing through Wikispaces has a great impact in correcting errors in the L2 students' essay writing. This alternative way has proven to be an effective technique and the students' involvement in the peer editing was thus enhanced. Students could correct most of the errors quite well through online collaborative activity. Furthermore, most of the findings obtained were fared positively. These outcomes show that the use peer editing through Wikispaces should be employed in teaching and learning of writing. This study has further implied in three aspects: pedagogy, social and technology. Last but not least, limitations of the research were highlighted and recommendations for both practice and future research were suggested.