Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

Monica Tracey


The advent of communication technologies, including the use of computers and Internet especially in higher educational settings, now provides numerous ways of communication (Sun, 2010). One of these higher educational settings is ESL learning. According to Godwin-Jones (2005), language learning, specifically writing, could be facilitated by using web 2.0 technology. One of the web 2.0 applications is social network sites. Social network sites provide learners with opportunities to access interactive environments that increase collaborative and interactive learning (Razak et al., 2013). However, there is a shortage of studies that investigate the effects of social network sites, especially Wiki for ESL students (Razak et al., 2013). Of this small numbers of studies most have been focused on the effects of Wiki on the process of collaborative writing and on the leaners’ perceptions of using Wiki in collaborative writing projects. Only a few studies have focused on the effects of Wiki on the products of collaborative writing.

Timed writing essay and demographic survey were used to collect data on international ESL students at a private university in midwestern United States. A comparison group pretest and posttest design was used to answer the research questions and determine the impact of Wiki-based collaborative writing on individuals’ writing performance. A total of 24 students participated in this study, with 13 students in the control group and 11 students being in the experimental group. Students who participated in this study had a diverse background in terms of age, gender, nationality, major, highest level of degree, years in learning English, current English classes, experience using social media, and preference of writing mode.

The results of this quasi-experimental study showed that although the experimental group showed improvement from the pre-essay to the post-essay in five dependent variables, the results of Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test did not show any statistical significance in any dependent variables—overall p= .476, content p= .656, organization p=.195, vocabulary p=.166, and grammar p= .570—with the exception of mechanics (p=.026). Also, Descriptive Statistics indicated that participants in the experimental group achieved higher scores in the post-essays than the participants in the control group in four dependent variables—overall, vocabulary, grammar, and mechanics. However, the results of Mann-Whitney U test showed that there was a statistically significant difference between the experimental group and the control group in three dependent variables—vocabulary p=.018, and grammar p= .049, and mechanics p=.027—in favoring the experimental group.