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Research report

Learning self-assessment in writing by students aged 14 to 17

Much research has highlighted the benefits of explicit writing strategy instruction on students' motivation and performance in writing. But no educational tool adapted to Québec's high school program has yet been developed and tested for introducing this teaching method in Québec high schools.

This project explores the potential of information and communication technologies in education.

With our research-action project, we sought to address this gap by exploring the potential of information and communication technologies (ICT) in education to actually help students learn to write rather than simply using them. To do so, we worked with a team of teachers and educational consultants to build tools and an explicit writing strategy instruction approach with integrated ICT for secondary cycle 2. We created explanatory documents for each strategy, to be used by teachers as a planning guide. In addition, all of our tools were designed to be consistent with the Québec Education Program and the Progression of Learning in French.

While the experimental component of our project did not lead to any conclusive results proving the effectiveness of this explicit teaching, we see this lack of results as a result in itself for the organization of teacher professional development. We can conclude that the large-scale implementation of new teaching strategies within a school board or a school must be supported for more than one year, with expert resources including educational consultants, and must be generalized to all teachers, so that students do not lose their acquired skills when they change teachers.

Ultimately, at the end of our testing with high school French teachers, we can affirm that our research-action project contributed to disseminating effective teaching practices in Québec by adapting, to the Québec program, educational principles that have been hitherto limited to English-language education systems.


Main researcher: Érick Falardeau, Université Laval

Original title: L'apprentissage de l'autoévaluation en écriture par des élèves de 14 à 17 ans : expérimentation d'une démarche d'enseignement explicite des stratégies d'écriture à l'aide du traitement de texte

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