Exploring EFL Students’ Collaboration during Edmodo-Mediated ...

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The use of social media in the learning of a language has recently captured the attention of second/foreign language learning researchers. Edmodo is one of the social media platforms that provides ample opportunities for language learning. While students’ perceptions, experiences and improvement in writing skills have been addressed in previous research, the nature of students’ interaction and the way learners use it in collaborative writing activities has rarely been explored. This qualitative study, which was informed by sociocultural theory, explored the interaction of four EFL learners during an eight-week writing course at the College of Basic Education in Kuwait. It explored the online discussion posts together with students’ writing behaviours to explore the process of their interaction. The results indicated that, although Edmodo provides an online social learning context where learning language can occur while engaging in collaborative writing, students’ interactional patterns vary according to the mode of interaction and the nature of the activities. Students engage in a collaborative pattern of interaction and contribute collectively using the Edmodo timeline (i.e. asynchronous threaded discussion), while adopting an authoritative/responsive pattern when writing the collaborative text. This paper argues that Edmodo can be used as a supplementary tool for collaborative writing activities; instructors, however, should encourage learners to contribute to the process of co-constructing the collaborative text and not limit their interaction to engaging collaboratively in asynchronous discussions.