Friday, December 12, 2008

Bringing Blogs into ESL Writing Classroom

In recent years, the use of web logs or blogs in education is on the rise. Even though it has immense potential as an extremely valuable tool in higher education learning, writing blogs in Malaysia is still in its infancy. Therefore, the objective of this study is to introduce a new ICT and CMC (Computer Mediated Communication) application – blogs, and investigate undergraduate students’ perceptions of using blogs as a tool for journal writing. This study employed the Davis’ Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (1989) and its questionnaire-based measurement instrument to evaluate and justify users’ attitudes and behaviour. TAM posits two determinants–Perceived Ease of Use (PEOU) and Perceived Usefulness (PU) to determine an individual’s Behavioural Intention (BI) as a mediator of actual technology use. To explore the relationships among PEOU, PU, and BI of blog users to accomplish a writing task, questionnaire was administered on 78 undergraduate students as the target sample. Based on the objectives of the study, three hypotheses were formulated. The results from the pilot test had confirmed the reliability of the modified TAM-based questionnaire.

The undergraduate students’ intention to use blogs for journal writing had a more significant effect on usefulness rather than on ease of use. Additionally, the findings revealed that TAM can be applied in the English Language Teaching (ELT) context to diagnose and interpret the attitude and behaviour of users of blogs. However, most importantly PEOU, PU, and BI were positively correlated at a significant level. These results depicted that the three proposed hypotheses in the study had failed to be rejected. The implication is blogs are more useful than easy to use for journal writing and the intention to use a newly-implemented ICT tool in the learning process can be attained provided that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use can be obtained from the users.

Citation (APA 6th ed.):
Mah, B. Y., & Liaw, S. C. (2008). Bringing blogs into ESL writing classroom. The 2nd International Conference on Science and Technology Proceedings. Penang, Malaysia: Department of Information Technology and Quantitative Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA Penang.

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