A Study Regarding Upper Secondary Teachers’ Beliefs on the Use of Google Docs in the English Classroom
Abstract: As part of the increasing use of technology in society, one particular school in Sweden follows the same path. The chosen school for this study has integrated digital tools such as laptops and a web service called Google Classroom. Within the service, there is an additional document creator called Google Docs which has several functions such as, storage, document creation, editing and commenting on texts and allowing instructors and peers to view the process in real-time (Slavkov, 2015; Wiles, 2015). The integration of Google Docs is of interest in this paper and the aim is to investigate its advantages for the feedback process and students’ collaborative work, and the possible disadvantages. The methodology in this study is a qualitative semi-structured interview with two upper secondary teachers in one school in Sweden. Both participants are experienced in using digital tools in their EFL teaching. Therefore, they help create further understanding and the pedagogical values of Google Docs. On the one hand, earlier studies promote Google Docs as an effective tool when it comes to managing and monitoring students’ work (Chu & Kennedy, 2010; Kessler et al. 2012), and the potential to improve student collaboration (Seyyedrezaie et al, 2016; Ishtaiwa & Aburezeq, 2015). Results show both teachers express that Google Docs is flexible and easy to use and share similar views regarding the facilitation of the writing process and feedback process. Likewise, in terms of students’ collaborative work. On the other hand, both teachers express similar concerns regarding the feedback process. The students would often rather know the final grade for their assignment rather than follow up on the formative feedback. Also, there are concerns that during collaborative work the students with higher L2 proficiency tend to have more workload than the others and end up teaching the lower proficiency level students’ important information that they should have listened to. The results imply that teachers need further guidance on teaching methodology, strategies for formative assessment follow up and organization of groups within classes when working with Google Docs.
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