in: Challenge, Create, Innovate: Voices of ELT Professionals from the Virtual Classroom, Elif Tokdemir Demirel, Editor, Livre de Lyon, Lyon, pp.259-290, 2021
The aim of this mixed methods case study was two-fold. It attempted to investigate 60 English as a Foreign Language (EFL) pre-service teachers’ perceived learning, sense of community, and perceptions of collaborative learning in a blended blog-integrated freshman contextual grammar course in the fall semester of the 2014 and 2015 academic year. It also examined the interpersonal dimensions of blogging as a social medium associated with social presence in their interactive collaborative text-based discourse via peer comments through the lens of the Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The blogging experiences of the EFL pre-service teachers in the study were explored in terms of their sense of community, perception of collaborative learning, and perceived learning. The quantitative data were collected through online surveys and analyzed through correlation and regression studies. The qualitative data from the peer comments on blogs were analyzed via an analysis of interpersonal semantics. The findings indicated pre-service teachers’ positive feelings about collaborative and perceived learning and moderate feelings concerning the sense of community. The study also suggested that the online interactive collaborative text-based blog discourse, as revealed through the peer comments, tends to be interwoven with the interpersonal engagement of the participants. Blogs can be regarded as a promising online tool in terms of promoting the sense of community, perceived learning, and collaborative learning. To improve students’ learning experiences, instructors can be recommended to create a supportive online classroom community by focusing on group dynamics and group cohesion and empowering students in terms of computer skills and expertise.