THE UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA FIRST YEAR STUDENT’S ATTITUDES AND PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS COLLABORATIVE WRITING
The study investigated students’ attitudes and perceptions on the use of collaborative writing. The purpose of this study was to find out if students benefitted from using collaborative writing in academic contexts. The study involved 94 first year students in one faculty in the University of Botswana, and the data was collected towards the end of the second semester. A questionnaire consisting of 25 items with 4 point Likert scale was administered and 10 randomly selected focus group students were interviewed. Exploring the students’ views and getting their suggestions may influence lecturers planning and methods of teaching. The results of the study indicated that most of the students found collaborative writing effective and beneficial in improving their communication, presentation and problem solving skills. They however, perceived collaborative writing negatively due to the challenges that they experienced in using group work to do a writing assignment. Some of the challenges they highlighted were poor time management and lack of participation by some group members, there overburdening other members. Students suggested that they preferred working in pairs and individually compared to groups, as it gave them an opportunity to work at their own pace. The collaborative writing approach therefore presents some serious in teaching and learning challenges, and needs to be considered critically by lecturers.