Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Examination of the Educational Effects of Some Writing Activities in the Light of Student Opinions

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Examination of the Educational Effects of Some Writing Activities in the Light of Student Opinions

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this research is to discover and compare the effects of writing prompt and expository writing from an educational perspective in the light of student opinions. The study was conducted according to qualitative research approach and content analysis was conducted. Two activities which were prepared with respect to objectives of writing prompt and expository writing were applied to the research group consisting of 81 university students for ten weeks. As data collection technique, semi-structured interview technique was used. At the end of this process, 44 students who participated in research were interviewed for 15-20 minutes in accordance with semi-structured interview questions. Recorded data were transferred to computer through transcription and analyzed by Nvivo program. Results showed that the effects of writing prompt and expository writing on students are, to a large extent, similar. Students that performed writing activities claimed that with respect to cognitive domain, they understood concepts better because of writing activities, they could detect unknown points, and what they learned was more permanent; with respect to emotional domain, their interests towards lectures increased, they were more careful, they had higher motivation, and since they were able to study regularly, they could prepare exams better and thus their anxiety towards them decreased. One of the most important results of the study is that students think that writing activities contribute the attitudes and behaviors about teaching professions and by these activities, their abilities to express ideas and their language use skills improved.

Key Words

Writing Activities, Writing Prompt, Expository Writing, Learning.

Reflective thinking is an effective, consistent and carefully thinking that any thought or information and it aims to reach conclusions that support an effective information structure (Dewey, 1991). Teachers and students think about when they are doing actually something and reverse their work, in this way reflective thinking requires students be aware and active in learning process by questioning what they will learn for as well (Tok, 2008).

By the activities through which students can express their opinions, criticisms, and reactions, environments that can teach and improve reflective thinking would be established in the organization of learning-teaching activities. Although the main reflective thinking activities can be enumerated as learning writings, maps of concepts and mind, questioning, contractual learning and self-evaluation activities, one of the most appealed reflective thinking activities in this area, education, is learning writings (learning protocols). According to Berthold, Nückles and Renkl (2004), learning protocols are not only products of writers' cognitive and meta-cognitive activities, but also written explanations of their own learning process and learning results. In other words, learning writings are short, impromptu and informal writing tasks which enable students to think keywords and ideas provided in the course.

At the same time, learning writings also bring forth the thinking on the effects of writing. Writing from the perspective of education is not only used as an instrument to expose knowledge obtained from different and complex levels; it is used as a mean to perceive and construct new concepts, i.e. it can be used as a meaningful mean in a meaningful learning activity (Günel, Atilla, & Büyükkasap, 2009). As such, writing does not only help us organize information but also learn more about our thinking process. In the course of learning of a new subject, writing activities help students see new relations, discover new ideas and communicate much more with others (Abel & Abel, 1988). During writing, students can organize their knowledge in a new way, and, at the same time, organize them again. By means of writing, knowledge operates actively and its transference occurs. …

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