CCE Theses and Dissertations

The Effects Of Using Computers In Writing Instruction on Writing Apprehension and Attitude Toward Using Computers

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Computer Education


Center for Computer and Information Sciences


John Kingsburry

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Steven R. Terrell


This study investigated the effects of using computers in writing instruction on writing apprehension and attitude toward writing with the computer. Possible correlates of writing apprehension considered in the study were gender and GPA. Possible correlates of attitude toward writing with the computer were gender and the number of courses taken requiring in-class use of the computer. Analyses were conducted to determine if there was any correlation between the test instruments and to identify differences between the computer treatment group, the non-treatment comparison group, and an advanced placement group.

Riverview High School seniors and advanced placement juniors (N=234) who were enrolled in English classes in the 1991 fall quarter were tested before and after completing nine weeks of writing instruction. Data about the subjects' writing attitudes and attitudes toward writing with the computer were collected by means of standardized scales, and demographic data for the subjects was obtained from a survey and the Riverview guidance department.

Hypotheses were tested at a .05 confidence level using paired t-tests for dependent samples, unpaired t-tests for independent samples, Pearson product moment correlation coefficients, or analysis of variance. Because the analysis of variance indicated differences in writing attitude among the groups, a Scheffe F-test and a Fisher PLSD test were used to determine where the differences occurred. Of the possible correlates of writing apprehension tested, only gender was found to be significant. No correlates were found to be related significantly to attitude toward writing with the computer, and no significant correlation was found between the scales. Differences between the mean writing attitude scores and mean attitude toward writing with the computer scores were identified. Scores increased significantly in the computer treatment group on the Writing Attitude Scale (WAS) and the Attitude toward Writing with the Computer Scale (ATWCS). On both scales, posttest scores of the grade 12 treatment group were also significantly higher than those of the non-treatment grade 12 group. Scores did not increase significantly in the non-treatment group on the Writing Attitude Scale, but did increase significantly on the Attitude toward Writing with the Computer Scale, although the treatment group scores were still significantly higher.

Several curriculum recommendations were made based upon the results of this study. Recommendations for future study included extending the duration of the study, testing more grade levels, and expanding the population from which subjects were drawn.

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