Learner autonomy, learner engagement and learner satisfaction in text-based and multimodal computer mediated writing environments
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionEducation and Information Technologies : Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education. 2023, 28 14283-14323. 10.1007/s10639-023-11615-w
Technology creates variant learning experiences which are context specific. This study examined the comparative potential of multimodal and text-based Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) in fostering learner autonomy, learner engage- ment and learner e-satisfaction as well as learner writing quality. To this end, 40 Iranian male and female EFL (English as foreign language) students were selected on the basis of their writing proficiency and were randomly assigned into text-based and multimodal CMC research groups. Learner autonomy was investigated using Van Nguyen and Habók ‘s learner autonomy questionnaire, which had 40 items rated on 5 point likert scale, both before and after the treatment. Student engage- ment was tracked by analyzing transcription of stored conversations of Moodle and Discussion logs of an online writing forum, using a coding scheme to identify cog- nitive, emotional, and behavioral student engagement. The potential of text-based CMC and Multimodal CMC in fostering writing quality was examined by com- paring students’ writing before and after treatment. Finally, students were asked to write reflective essays on their evaluation of efficacy of the learning environments. Content analysis was conducted on the open and axial coding of indicators of stu- dent satisfaction. The results of between group comparison indicated that students were more autonomous in text-based modality than in multimodal CMC. Chi-square analysis indicated that text-based CMC group outperformed multimodal CMC group in terms of behavioral and cognitive engagement. Yet, multimodal CMC group reported higher emotional and social engagement. One-way ANCOVA results also indicated that the students in text-based CMC group outperformed Multimodal CMC group in terms of writing quality. Learner e-satisfaction was examined by net- work mapping of open codes of student reflective essays. The study identified four categories that reflected students’ e-satisfaction: learner dimension (including learn- ers’ attitude, learner internet self-efficacy), teacher dimension (including teacher presence, teacher digital competences), curriculum dimension (including curricu- lum flexibility, course quality, flexibility in interaction support system) and inter- net dimension (including internet quality and support system). However, internet dimension received negative judgments from both groups. The implications of the study and suggestions for further research are discussed.