A preliminary study on employing the mobile phone to write English composition collaboratively

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24 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 11 μήνες)

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A preliminary study on employing the mobile phone to write

English composition collaboratively


1.
Introduction


Since the 80s, two significant paradigm shifts
have occurred

in t
he field of
composition

one from viewing writing as product to
viewing
it
as process, the
other from seeing the writing as an individual endeavor to
seeing it
as a
collective practice (
Gaddis and Muth
,
2000)
.
A
s with the shifts
, collaborative
writing has aroused
people’
s great interest and
a fair amount of observational
rese
arch has been conducted (
see Couture & Rymer, 1991; Hartley &
Branthwaite, 1989;

Mackler, 1987; Posner & Baecker, 1993).


Many r
esearch findings on collaborative writing have been positive
, suggesting
results such as
motivating interest, enhancing crit
ical thinking, and
scaffolding

(e.g., Beck, 1993; Ede & Lunsford, 1990; Kaye, 1993).
S
ome
studies

also
suggest that there is a need for flexibility and communication throughout the
entire collaborative writing project (e.g., Ede & Lunsford
, 1990; Kraut, Egido &
Galegher, 1990).


Since the 90s, w
ith the
quick

development of the information and communication
technology (ICT)

and the overwhelming popularity of computers in both schools
and ordinary families,
the age of
electronic learning (e
-
l
earning)

has come and
great changes have taken place in language learning pedagogy and practice.
Many web
-
enhanced learning environments have been established in
institutions and schools with the attempt to benefit language teaching and
learning.
Among the
m is c
omputer supported collaborative writing
.


Computer supported collaborative writing

makes writing activities more flexible

in
collaboration
. The partners in a writing group
don

t

have to take the face
-
to
-
face
communication as the only way to
finish

their writing

task
.
W
ith access to the
Internet,
both

the
synchronous

or real
-
time communication via
online chat
and

the asynchronous communication via email greatly decrease

people’
s
dependence on time and space.


E
ver since computer supporte
d collaborative writing attracted people

s attention,
it has been studie
d

from a variety of perspectives (Sharples et al., 1991;
Rimmershaw, 1992;
Eklundh, 1994; Fisher, 1994; Chen, 1997;
Beech, 2001;
Lingnau, Hoppe & Mannhaupt, 2003)
. Although there still

exists

uncertainty for
its effectiveness in enhancing writing skills (e.g., Roskams, 1994
; Tammaro,
Mosier, Goodwin &
S
pitz, 1997
),
many positive
advantages

have been
disc
overed

in motivation, interaction, learning outcomes and so on (see
e.g.,
Allen & Thompson, 1994; Barile & Durso, 2002;
Lindblom
-
ylänne

&

Pihlajamäki
,
2003)
.


The past several years in the early 21
st

century witnessed

the rapid development
of mobile and wireless technologies
.
T
hey have

not only brought
great

conv
enience

to
people

s everyday life and work, but opened up a huge array of
possibilities for the domain of language learning

as well
.
C
ompared with desktop
computers,
the portability of
mobile devices
can

almost completely remove the
limitations of time an
d
space
, which

makes
language
learning activities more
flexible
.



Now

among many educators and educational researchers,
m
-
learning is
becoming a buzz word
. As with this tendency,

mobile assisted language learning
(MALL)
is also attracting

peo
ple

s great interest.
I
n recent years, many
exploratory studies have been done to estimate the
possibility

of integrating
mobile devices into language learning practices (
Stanford

Learning Lab
, 2001;
Dias, 2002a, 2002b;
Kiernan
&

Aizawa
,
2004
; Zurita and N
ussbaum, 2004a;
Thornton and Houser
,
2005
; Fallahkhair, Pemberton and Griffiths, 2007).
A
nd an
impressive number of research articles related have been issued
like bamboo
shoots after a spring rain
.


Despite the enthusiasm and the widening use of mobile
d
evices

for language
learning purposes,
till now the focus of these
studies

has been mainly on
vocabulary learning (
e.g. Andrews, 2003; Levy & Kennedy, 2005; Thornton &
Houser, 2005
) or quizzes (
e.g. Norbrook & Scott, 2003; Levy & Kennedy, 2005;
McNicol, 2005
). That is,
fact
-
based language learning is predominant in mobile
based learning environments.
At present,

f
rom learning theory perspective,
behaviorism
, instead of constructivism, takes a leading role

in MALL
,

which is
consistent with Warscha
uer and Healeys


(1998) viewpoint that

a step
backwards in pedagogy

often accompanies n
ew

language teaching technologies

when

developers put too much faith in the novelty factor
.


As for
the widely
adopted

collaborative learning in constructivism
, althoug
h a
number of platforms or systems have been established towards this direction
(see Schrott & Gluckler, 2004; Zurita & Nussbaum, 2004b; Chatti, Srirama,
Kensche & Cao, 2006; Markett, Sanchez, Weber & Tangney, 2006; Hu & Moore,
2007; Liu & Kao, 2007), ther
e are only few platforms or systems especially for
collaborative language learning (
Ogata
&

Yano
,
2004
;

Joseph, Binsted &
Suthers,2005).


A
s far as mobile supported collaborative writing

is concerned
, it seems that only
Paredes,
Sánchez
-
Villalón
, Ortega, a
nd
Velázquez
-
Iturbide

(2007) made an
exploratory study on putting mobile devices and collaborative learning
environments together.
I
n that research, such
hi
-
techs
as
Interactive
whiteboard,
PDA,
notebook

are combined together to create an effective langua
ge learning
environment

for collaborative writing.


Despite that, to
my knowledge,
there

is
little

research
at present
that
has
employed

the mobile phone as a tool to
specially

enhance writing ability.

And
neither
is

the mobile phone used to enhance colla
borative writing practices.


M
aybe it is the small screen and the limited input method
s

that stop some
researcher from taking a
n

exploratory first step

in mobile assisted writing
practices
.

Indeed, a

number of articles have mentioned that the mobile
user
-
u
nfriendly

input method is one of the weaknesses inherent in the mobile
phone which limit its application in language learning, especially in writing (e.g.
Masayasu, 2003; Houser & Thornton, 2004; Wang & Higgins, 2006).


However,
it does not mean that we j
ust completely
kick

the idea of writing with
mobile phones out of the whole blueprint of MALL.

First,
despite the doubt about
the feasibility of using mobile phones for writing, no research completely denies
that
possibility
.
S
ome
studies

imply that the possibility of writing with mobile
phones does exist.
Dias

s (2002) survey on mobile phone usage habits shows
that only a small minority of participants cite the inconvenience of text input as a
problem.

McNicol (2004)
, after interviewing s
ome
people
,

also points out that for
many users, especially the youngest users, small keypads and displays
do not

bring them inconvenience.


Besides, compared with PDAs or laptops, low cost and ever
-
increasing
capabilities make mobile phones much mor
e popular among
users

of
handheld

devices
, especially young adults.
I
f a researcher wants to do some kind of study
using mobile phones, he/she
need

not

worry too much about cost and user
training.


I
n addition, if tak
ing

a closer look at
the platforms or systems for MALL, we
will
find that most of them involve the development in both hardware and software,
which
, if not dealt with carefully,

may
cause some people to overestimate the
power of
technology

while overlooking the importance of p
edagogy. Copaert
(2004) emphasizes the importance of developing the language learning
environment before deciding on the role of mobile technologies and further
emphasizes focusing on the learner ahead of the technology. Salaberry (2001)
also argues agains
t

technology
-
driven pedagogy,


suggesting that despite their
revolutionary status, it is not clear that any modern technology has offered the
same pedagogical benefits as traditional second language instruction.
And
Beatty (2003: 72) offers a further caut
ion that

teachers need to be concerned
about investing time and money in unproven technology

.


The purpose of this current study is to make a preliminary study in which the
mobile phone, not other mobile devices like PDAs or laptops,
is employed in a
col
laborative writing practice, with an attempt
to explore the learners


attitudes
towards English writing using mobile
phones, in particularly to examine the
extent to which
learners collaborate
with
each other in writing practice and how
they collaborate in

fulfilling the task
.



In other words, t
his study
is
intended to address three questions:

What

are learners


responses to English writing using mobile phones for the first
time?


To what extent can learners collaborate in writing English composition usin
g
mobile phones for the first time?


B
y what means

do learners collaborate
with
each other when they use mobile
phones to write a composition together?


As far as

this study

is concerned
,
its

differences from other similar researches in
the field of M
ALL
mainly
lie in
three aspects
.

One

is using mobile phones, not
PDAs, laptops or other handhelds, for writing purpose, which is
a new trial.
T
he
second is that in this research the participants use their own mobile phones, with
no limitations in phone mod
els and no extra hardware or software integrated,
which is closer to
a
real
language learning situation

in most of the school
areas
.
T
he

exploration into the collaboration patterns among learners is the third
one.
When learners do a learning task,

w
h
ether
they

have been used to
communicating each other through mobile phones will be investigated.


T
he paper begins with a brief introduction about mobile learning, followed by a
description of how mobile technologies have been used in language learning
.

A
fter that, a detailed
description

follow
s

as to

how the research was carried out
.
Data
are

collected through detailed questionnaires and a semi
-
structured
interview, the results of
which

are presented along with a discussion
and

the
implications for fur
ther study.


2.
Review of literature


2.1
Mobile learning


With the increasing availability of mobile devices in every day life, the
convergence of mobile communications and handheld computers (Sharples,
Corlett, & Wesmancott, 2002) and the
popularization

of wireless mobile devices
(Meng, Chu, & Zhang, 2004), mobile learning is emerging as

a burgeoning
subdivision of the e
-
learning movement


(Chinnery, 2006: 9).


A
s Keegan (2002: 43) points out in his book

T
he future of learning: from
e
-
learning to m
-
lea
rning

;


in the short space of time between 1995 and 2000 eLearning became the state of the
art for the use of technology in education.
……B
ut by 2000 wired telephones and wired
computers were beginning to be replaced by wireless ones. This has important
didactic
dimensions as it frees the learner, who may have spent much of his or her working day
in front of a wired computer, from studying in front of a
computer

screen too.


According to Trifonova (2004),
mobile learning could be considered any form of

learning and teaching that occur
s

through a mobile device or in a mobile
environment.
Here
,

learner mobility is stressed; that is,
the learner can “
engage
in educational activities without the constraints of having to do so in a tightly
delimited physical

location


(Kukulska
-

Hulme, 2005:1).


Geddes (2004) uses two vivid words to describe the typical feature of learning
style for mobile learning

anywhere, anytime, while
Kukulska
-

Hulme provides
us with another vivid picture of mobile learning from
a techn
ological angle.
Kukulska
-

Hulme

s (2005:1)
suggests that

mobile learning relate
s

to the learning
opportunities
from

portable, lightweight devices that are sometimes small
enough to fit in a pocket or in the palm of one

s

hand

.


B
ased on the ideas above,

we might as well define mobile learning as a kind of
extended
learning experience
in e
-
learning in which learning is
independent of
space

and time
through using mobile devices.


H
ere mobile devices
specifically refer to, but are not limited to mobile phon
es
(also called cell phones or hand phones), Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs),
and laptops.


2.2
. Mobile Assisted Language Learning

(MALL)


As
access to wireless networks expands and ownership of devices that can
communicate with such networks increases,

the use of mobile devices to
support language learning becomes ever
more

common.
I
n general, MALL
would be expected to use technologies such as mobile phones, PDAs and
lap
tops.

H
ere the focus will be only on mobile phones and PDAs

the most
popular tools e
mployed
in
mobile assisted language learning.


2.2
.1 MALL
involving

mobile phones


The fast development of science and technology has brought a new look to the
traditional mobile phones
.

Now apart from the standard voice function of a
telephone,
t
he c
ommon

features of
a
current
mobile phone

may also

support
such functions as

Internet access, voice
-
messaging, SMS text
-
messaging,

cameras, and even video
-
recording. In language learning, all of these features
enable

communicative

language practice, access to au
thentic content, and task
completion.


In 2001,
Stanford

Learning Lab

developed Spanish study programs to
explore
the potential of involving mobile phones

in language

learning.
In this research,
both voice and email with mobile phones

were employed
in v
oc
abulary
learning
,
quizzes, word and phrase translation, and access to live talking tutors.
The

results

indicated that mobile phones were effective for quiz delivery if delivered
in small chunks; they also

indicated that automated voice vocabulary lessons
a
nd quizzes had great potential. Live tutoring was also effective, but poor audio
quality was judged to potentially

affect comprehension adversely.



T
h
e

research
by Stanford Learning Lab

(2001)

was one of pilot studies on
language learning on
-
the
-
go

and th
e findings,
especially

the one that when using
mobile phones to deliver
quizzes
,
we had better deliver
the information
in small
chunks
, provide valuable tips for later research in
a

similar field.
Morita (2003),
based on
a
n

observation

on
a mobile
-
base
d
English
learning
practice

held by a
publisher
in Japan, also suggests that when designing learning contents for
mobile phone based learning
, the system designer
tend
s

to

limit
each page of
the learning contents to
a
certain size and length so that it is
easy to read.
Despite the valuable findings,

it seems that both Stanford Learning Lab

s

and
Morita

s
studies

focus on the
potential

implications for
language

learning via

the

mobile phone
.
They
have

not
touched the training of writing a
bility using mobile
phones
, n
or is collaborative learning mentioned.


Levy and Kennedy (2005) created a program for Italian learners in Australia,
sending vocabulary

words and idioms, definitions, and example sentences via
SMS
at appropriately spaced in
tervals.
T
he research indicated that most of the
participant
s enjoyed the messages sent with mobile phones
. Besides,
the

knock
-
on


effect of the SMS messages
was impressive; that is, like a trigger, the
SMS message successfully motivated the learner to ac
tively engage in language
learning
, especially vocabulary learning between classes.
Levy and Kennedy
also point out that the technology selected must fit the pedagogical purpose in
order to achieve the ideal outcomes, which
supports

Salaberry

s

(2001)

argu
ment mentioned above.


Thornton and Houser (2005)
compared the use of pull (web
-
based) and push
(email) approaches in delivering vocabulary contents to mobile phones.
E
ncouraging results were achieved

that the SMS students learned over twice
the n
umber of vocabulary words as the Web students.
Students’ attitudes were
also measured. The

vast majority preferred the SMS instruction, wished to
continue such lessons, and believed it to be a

valuable teaching method. The
authors theorized that their less
ons had been effective due to their having

been
delivered as push media, which promote frequent rehearsal and spaced study,
and utilized recycled

vocabulary.


The
studies

done by Levy
et al.

(2005) and by Thornton
et al.

(2005)
both
suggest that

mobile Short Message Service (SMS) technology matches
vocabulary

learning well.
B
ut
from learning style perspective, the learner, to a
large exten
t, is still a passive receiver
.
A
lthough
both learning systems enable
the learning to be adapted for indi
vidual level,

interactions between learners
did
not
happen
. This

goes back to the
traditional

behavioris
ti
c
approach to
language

learning where
prescribed knowledge is transmitted to learners according to a
preplanned program and
the way to o
vercome the
failure

to achieve the learning
goals is through repetition at intervals
.

Under this learning approach, v
ery little
cooperation between learners
take
s

place
.


In order to know whether mobile phones are useful language learning tools and
to
explore their use in task
-
based learning
,

Kiernan and Aizawa (2004)

conducted a study which involved freshman university
students

in EFL classes
.
In their study,
the participants

were placed into three groups: PC email

users,
mobile phone email use
rs, and mobile phone speaking users (due to cost, this
latter group became

face
-
to
-
face speaking users).
S
ome information gap
activities were designed with an
attempt

to promote some interactions between
learners via
PC

email, mobile email, or phone c
alling.


A
lthough the purpose of
Kiernan and Aizawas


(2004)

research
wa
s
not for
exploring learners


writing using mobile phones, the communication
between

partners through writing does exist and some
findings related to writing are also
useful for th
e current study.
F
or example, in task completion, though
the mobile
phone email users

had the slowest

performance, they

were not significantly
slower than the PC email users.
T
here were
even
some sets of mobile
messages of a similar length to the
PC
email ones (100 words or so), which
provides the
possibility

to employ the mobile phone for writing purpose.
T
he
research also indicated that

i
n general, fewer words were used by mobile

phone
email users, yet they were able to communicate effectively.
For
the current study,
the most valuable thing in this study may be that
when involved in task based
learning, the learners really can cooperate each other through writing with
mobile phones.


Joseph, Binsted and Suthers (200
5
) designed a system called
PhotoSt
udy

to
support vocabulary learning on both wired and wireless devices.
PhotoStudy

allowed users to
email

photo
attachments

from fixed or wireless devices with
vocabulary terms in the subject line.
T
hese images were then entered into a
central database and
linked with their associated vocabulary terms.


U
sers could then download lessons comprised of sets of images where they
attempted to guess the correct vocabulary term associated with an image.
T
he
big advantage of
PhotoStudy

as a method of vocabulary acqu
isition is that it
allowed the creation of a set of photo flash cards tailored to the users own
learning environment, e.g. photos of actual artifacts encountered by the user can
be employed, connecting vocabulary study to the broader context in which the
l
earner exists.
S
ome support for collaboration was also afforded by allowing
users to create quizzes out of certain subsets of images and sending them to
friends.


Via mobile phone and interactive television

(iTV)
, Fallahkhair, Pemberton and
Griffiths (200
7) developed a cross
-
platform ubiquitous language learning service
called TAMALLE (
television

and mobile phone assisted language learning
environment). Designing facilities that take advantage of what each device does
best is the primary focus of the TAMAL
LE project. Mobile devices afford a wide
variety of personal activities and learning on
-
the
-
move, while television provides
rich multimedia presentation of authentic and immersive content that is
constantly renewed.
By integrating the advantages of both mo
bile phones and
television, the project intended to
create an environment realizing ubiquitous
language learning.
T
he result broadly revealed an overall positive
response

from
language learners
.
A
lthough there were some reported difficulties in reading tex
t
and on
-
screen display mainly on the iTV side of the interface, TAMALLE was
perceived to be a usable, useful and desirable tool to support informal language
learning and also for gaining
next
contextual

and cultural knowledge.


Compared with

a similar r
esearch which only presented design implications for
developing a mobile and iTV language learning support system

to facilitate
informal language learning from up
-
to
-
date authentic materials broadcast on
television (Pemberton, Fallahkhair, & Masthoff, 2005
), the TAMALLE took a step
forward

by carrying out an evaluation of the prototype and collecting valuable
data for further improvement.
O
f course, it seems that the TAMALLE intends to
enhance personalized
language learning by promoting the interactions bet
ween
the machine and the learner.
T
he interaction between learners
does

not

seem to
be its focus.


One of the newest technologies with potential application in language learning is
moblogging, an

amalgam of mobile
phone use
and weblogging. Mielo (2
005
:29
)
defines moblogging as

using a cell phone or

PDA "in the field" to post words
and/or pictures to a website

.
And Cochrane (2007) provides a practical
introductory guide for educators interested in implementing mobile blogging. In
2007,
Meurant cond
ucted a
pilot

study

in Korea in which Korean EFL students
were asked to use their cell phone videocams to make an L2 English video guide
to their college campus

through video blog
.


I
n this research, after shooting their videos on the videocams built
-
in t
o their cell
phones
, students emailed their videos to their instructor, who arranged for file
conversion where necessary, then uploaded their videos to the
video
blog

(
vblog
)

on his English language US.Cyworld.com homepage.
S
tudents were then asked
by emai
l in English to view the videos and post responses
in the homepage
guestbook, which required them to set up their own English language account,
and invited to further explore the social
networking

site.
Meurant

s (2007)

purpose

of doing this study is to en
hance students


English L2 digital literacy.
T
hough
it seems that
further research is needed to explore learners


responses
to such
learning experience

and its usability as a way to enhance English L2
digital literacy, Meurant (2007)

really did a meaningfu
l trial to
involve mobile
phones in

a learner
-
centered, collaborative learning environment
.


Cooney and Keogh (2007) made another pilot project to use mobile phones for
teaching and learning Irish.
I
n the five
-
week project,
mobile phones, laptops, the
inte
rnet and a teacher
-
monitored text
-
based web chat were employed to create
a
n

mlearning
environment
.
T
he aim of
this

project was to facilitate school
-
based
oral assessment and students


self
-
assessment, increase students


communicative competence and motivat
e students to learn Irish.
T
his mlearning
system proved useful and popular with teachers and students alike.
I
t is one of
the few projects that involve mobile phones in language learning other than
vocabulary learning or grammar learning.


2.2.2 MALL
involving

PDAs


PDAs, according to Trinder (2005: 8), are

computer
-
based handheld devices


with the ability to

exchange information easily with a desk
top PC.” With more
and more complicated functions integrated,
PDA
s
, in some aspects,
are

even as
powerfu
l as desk
top PCs, but they “shouldn’t be viewed as replacements for
laptops or desktops, rather as useful, lightweight portable adjuncts to these
systems” (Smith, 2003:2).

Thanks to its lightweight, pocket size, and similar
functions to a laptop or a deskt
op PC, the PDA has been widely used in mobile
mediated language learning

in recent years
.


Zurita and Nussbaum (2004) developed a constructivist learning environment
supported by a wireless handheld network for teaching first graders reading.
I
n
the resear
ch, two
equivalent
collaborative
learning
environment
s

were created
for the
comparison

of learning effect

one without technological support
(
Syllable
-
CL
), the other with the support of wireless inter
-
connected
handhelds

(
Syllable
-
MCSCL
)
.
T
he results indica
ted that the
technology
-
based activities
performed

much better than the paper
-
based activities in learning benefits
.
T
he
introduction of mobile computer devices made collaborative learning in this
research more efficient, more flexible, and more motivated.



Ogata and Yano (2004) developed an open
-
ended collaborative learning
support system called CLUE (Collaborative
-
Learning support
-
system with a
Ubiquitous Environment), which provided a vocabulary concept map over a PDA.
The wireless PDA allowed the learn
er to identify other learners who had
encountered vocabulary that he/she had not. Through the CLUE system, there
were substantial increases in vocabulary recall among participants. Of course,
the greatest contributions
of

this
research

seem to
lie in
two a
spects. One is
researchers has done valuable exploration in tackling the issues of “right time
and right place learning (RTRPL) in a ubiquitous computing environment” (Ogata
& Yano, 2003: 1); the other is that
collaborative learning plays an important role

in the whole language learning process.


Yin, Ogata, Yano, and Oishi (2005) implemented a PDA
-
based language
learning support system for Japanese polite expressions learning called
JAPELAS (Japanese Polite Expressions Learning Assisting System). The
resul
ts of the
initial experimentation of this system showed that it was very useful
to learn Japanese polite expressions. Like the research above (see Ogata &
Yano, 2004), contextual, situated, and collaborative learning
was put in priority in
this study. Besi
des, one other remarkable feature for this study is that
researchers
did not
pay their main attention to vocabulary, pronunciation and
grammar of the target language which many other mobile learning researche
r
s
had
; instead, they laid great stress o
n the cultural knowledge related to language
learning.


As an aid for elementary school English learning, Tan and Liu (2004) developed
a Mobile
-
Based Interactive Learning Environment (MOBILE), which was
comprised of a mobile learning server and PDAs suppor
ting in
-

or outdoor
learning activities.
In this research, learners used PDAs to interact with the
mobile learning system in a notebook computer which was controlled by the
teacher.
Two theme
-
based mobile learning activities

body parts learning and
creatio
n of species were conducted and experimental results indicated that the
MOBILE could significantly increase learners’ interest and effect in learning
English. It seems that this system is especially designed for self
-
study purpose,
but
compared with the tr
aditional language instruction approach, it worked well
in raising learners’ motivation.


Paredes,
Sánchez
-
Villalón
, Ortega, and
Velázquez
-
Iturbide

(2007)
employed
handheld computing and Web tools to create a collaborative composition writing
environment f
or
English

learning courses. For that purpose, researchers
presented two applications

AULA (A Ubiquitous Language Appliance) and
AWLA (
A Writing eLearning Appliance) which put mobile devices and
collaborative learning
environment

together in
-

and outside t
he classroom.


T
he AULA
platform is a high
-
tech system

which involves such advanced
technologies as
two
-
way projection/edition whiteboard, database server, and the
mobile devices (here PDAs)
, which create

a ubiquitous environment for writing in
English

c
ollaboratively

on the Web
.
I
n this system, the PDAs play a ve
ry active
role in supporting the

collaborative writing process; through the PDAs, learners
can access two types of tools employed in the system

collaborative
communication tools which involved a
user
-
friendly writing interface installed in
the PDA and a chat channel, language tools which
included dictionaries
(monolingual as well as bilingual), an electronic grammar book and a case
library.
A
lthough more
evaluat
ive

research is needed to
estimate its usability,
the
AULA system really provides many
valuable

implications for the research on
collaborative writing in a ubiquitous environment.


T
he AWLA is a Web
-
based
writing system with similar features to AULA
.
I
n
the
AWLA system, blogging an
d wiki technologies are employed to form
a
collaborative writing community of practice.
T
hough the small size of PDAs
made the text edition a little difficult

and there
were

minor problems in
compatibility between Microsoft Pocket PC 2003 and JavaS
cript, the
experiments among students sufficiently proved that it
could be

an effective
collaborative writing tool.