Exploring Teacher and Student Perceptions on the Use of Digital Conferencing Tools when Providing Feedback in Writing Workshop

 

ABSTRACT

Writing teachers often express they have insufficient time to provide adequate feedback during writing workshop conferences. Existing research has identified the importance of providing feedback to students and acknowledges the difficulty in finding the vast amount of time this requires. Educators have considered using digital tools as a means of solving this dilemma. This study explores the perceptions of teachers and students who used traditional face-to-face conferencing and digital conferencing tools as methods of delivering feedback during writing workshop. Participants from six middle school classrooms used face-to-face conferencing and provided feedback through Screencastify during a writing workshop. A survey of all participants and select interviews were conducted. Both a descriptive and content analysis were performed to examine the ratings and themes identified by the participants. The mean was used to compare the ratings for each conferencing method. An independent-sample t test was used to compare the perceptions of teachers and students regarding each conferencing methodsí effectiveness and ease of use. The quantitative results indicated that teachers and students found face-to-face conferences and Screencastify conferences to be equally effective and easy to use. The qualitative results identified several advantages and disadvantages for each type of conferencing method. Overall, teachers and students found benefits in each method and indicated that each method might be useful in different circumstances.