What Can Screen Capture Reveal About Students’ Use of Software Tools When Undertaking a Paraphrasing Task?
Previous classroom observations, and examination of students’ written drafts, had suggested that when summarising or paraphrasing source texts, some of our students were using software tools (for example the copy-paste function and synonym lookup) in possibly unhelpful ways. To test these impressions we used screen capture software to record 20 university students paraphrasing a short text using the word-processing package on a networked PC, and analysed how they utilised software to fulfil the task. Participants displayed variable proficiency in using word-processing tools, and very few accessed external sites. The most frequently enlisted tool was the synonym finder. Some of the better writers (assessed in terms of their paraphrase quality) availed themselves little of software aids. We discuss how teachers of academic writing could help students make more efficient and judicious use of commonly available tools, and suggest further uses of screen capture in teaching and researching academic writing.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons License "Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivs 4.0 International" (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) which permits others to use the publication as long as the authors are appropriately cited.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- The Author grants to Coventry University an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, non-exclusive licence to publish this article in this journal in addition to the licence granted at paragraph 1 of this copyright notice.