This article reports on a case study that explored the process of wiki-based collaborative writing in a small group of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students at a Chinese university. The study examined the archived logs from the group wiki ‘Discussion’ and ‘History’ modules with a focus on the group members' scaffolded interaction when co-constructing texts in the wiki space. The analysis revealed that the participants were actively engaged in reciprocal communication in terms of content discussion, social talk, task management, technical communication and language negotiation. They were also found to have scaffolded each other's writing efforts during co-constructing the product via multiple writing change functions, including addition, deletion, rephrasing, reordering and correction. This study explicated a distinct case of ‘collective scaffolding’ (Donato, 1994) in collaborative writing activities, where group members were simultaneously individual novices and collective experts as they pooled their knowledge and mutually guided each other through problem solving as to writing tasks. This study has important implications for instruction and future research on computer-mediated collaborative writing.
Li, M. (2013). Individual novices and collective experts: Collective scaffolding in wiki-based small group writing. System, 41(3), 752-769.