Essay Composition across Media: A Quantitative Comparison of 8th Grade Student Essays Composed with Paper vs. Chromebooks
Royce Kimmons, Brigham Young University ; Janine J. Darragh, Amanda Haruch, Bradley Clark, University of Idaho
Computers and Composition Volume 44, Number 1, ISSN 8755-4615 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Many current standardized testing and teaching practices approach media for composition with the assumption that media do not influence the writing process in significant ways. This study seeks to determine whether emergent media used for student writing influence essay composition (in terms of quantifiable text indicators) and compares a set of eighth-grade student essays composed via Chromebooks (n=139) to those written by hand (n=319). Essays were collected from students across three (3) schools, and descriptive results corroborate previous findings that Chromebook essays were generally longer than handwritten essays. ANOVA hypothesis testing on Flesch-Kincaid reading ease and grade level scores yielded new knowledge with regard to writing complexity as they indicated that Chromebook essays exhibited a significantly higher grade-level of writing and greater reading difficulty. This suggests greater complexity in word usage and sentence composition among Chromebook essays when compared to handwritten essays and also suggests that the medium itself may have an effect upon the complexity of student writing.
Kimmons, R., Darragh, J.J., Haruch, A. & Clark, B. (2017). Essay Composition across Media: A Quantitative Comparison of 8th Grade Student Essays Composed with Paper vs. Chromebooks. Computers and Composition, 44(1), 13-26. Elsevier Ltd.