Cloud-Based Writing in K-12 Schools

Mark Warschauer (School of Education, University of Irvine)

Soobin Yim (School of Education, University of Irvine)

Project Funding:
Google Faculty Research Award

Though learning to write is a vital skill in today’s knowledge economy, writing is poorly taught in K-12 schools. And learning to write collaboratively with others is seldom taught at all. With funding from Google Research Award, we are investigating the ways that Google Apps for Education, and particularly Google Docs, is used in writing instruction in a successful public school district that provides one-to-one computer access with netbooks and open source software. Using interviews, observations, a survey, server data, and test score outcomes, this study will investigate how Google Docs is integrated into instruction for diverse students, what the particular uses are for collaborative writing and receiving and responding to peer or teacher feedback, what the relationship is between use and student test score outcomes in writing, and how all of this can contribute to the design of an online writing environment that incorporates Google Docs and that matches the needs of K-12 schools.

Information of ongoing activities.
As a follow-up study, I am designing a new study on collaborative writing in second language (L2) academic contexts. This study seeks to understand L2 students’ collaborative writing experiences both in K-12 and higher education settings. Specifically, I am interested in examining the processes and outcomes of these experiences, as well as the perceived benefits and challenges of engaging in collaborative group work. Multiple sources of data including interview, observation, survey, and student writing in Google Docs will be collected to address these topics, starting from Fall 2015. This study also aims to utilize new text mining tools (SCAPES: and Docuviz( specifically designed to analyze writers’ collaboration patterns in Google Docs. These advanced methods can help elucidate document development and language-learning processes by analyzing the collaborative writing patterns (e.g., the duration and frequency of feedback and revision) across large numbers of exemplars.


Yim, S., & Warschauer, M. (under revision). Web-based Collaborative Writing in Second Language (L2) Contexts: Methodological Insights from Text Mining. Language, Learning, and Technology.

Yim, S., Warschauer, M., & Zheng, B. (in press). Google Docs in the classroom: a district-wide case study. Teachers College Record, 119(1). Scheduled to print in January, 2017. Link

Yim, S., Wang, D., Olson, J., Vu, V., & Warschauer, M (in press). Synchronous Collaborative Writing in the Classroom: Undergraduates’ Collaboration Practices and their Impact on Writing Style, Quality, and Quantity. Proceedings of the 20th ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing.

Zheng, B., Lawrence, J. F., Warschauer, M., & Lin, C.-H. (2015). Middle School Students’ Writing and Feedback in a Cloud-Based Classroom Environment. Link

Yim, S., Zheng, B., Warschauer, M., & Lawrence, J.F. (2014). Cloud-based Collaborative Writing and the Common Core State Standards. Link



Zheng, B., Yim, S., & Warschauer, M. (April, 2016). Collaborative Writing Patterns in a Cloud-Based Environment. American Educational Research Association. Washington, U.S. Link

Zheng, B., Yim, S., Warshcuaer, M., & Lawrence, J.F. (Novermber, 2014). Cloud-based Collaborative Writing and the Common Core Standards. Literacy Research Association. Florida, U.S. Link

For more information, please contact Soobin Yim (


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