Collaborative Blended Learning Writing Environment: Effects on EFL Students’ Writing Apprehension and Writing Performance

Author: Dr.Ala\'a Ismael Challob

Keywords: collaborative blended learning writing environment, writing apprehension, writing performance, EFL, perception

DOI: 10.5539/elt.v9n6p229

This study examined the effects of collaborative blended learning writing environment on students’ writing apprehension and writing performance as perceived by a selected group of EFL students enrolled in one of the international schools in Malaysia. Qualitative case study method was employed using semi-structured interview, learning diaries and observation. Twelve male students enrolled in Class Ten were selected to participate in a 13-week study. To learn how to write collaboratively, the students followed the procedures of the blended learning writing process. Students were divided into three groups and were given the freedom to choose the members of the group they would like to work with. They went through the writing process in face-to-face and online learning modes via the class blog and online Viber discussion. Data collected were analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis. The findings indicated that the students had positive perceptions towards the collaborative blended learning writing environment they had experienced. They perceived that the collaborative blended learning activities had helped them reduced their writing apprehension and improve their writing performance as they experienced and learnt much knowledge concerning the micro and macro aspects of writing. Students also viewed that their online discussion and collaboration on writing in Viber groups and the class blog had assisted them greatly in their writing task.