Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Joan Mazur


This study used an exploratory holistic single case study design to understand how Arabic as a foreign language (AFL) students completed a small group writing assignment using Google Docs. More specifically, this study investigated the interaction patterns that emerged between the students throughout the writing process, and if a relationship existed between the emerging interaction patterns and the holistic quality of the final written text. This study also explored the content focus of students’ comments and students’ perceptions of Google Docs-mediated small group writing.

Informed by the sociocultural theory in language learning and by drawing on Google Docs comments and archived history pages of text construction, and a post-study questionnaire as the main sources of data, this study showed that the students completed the writing assignment in four different interaction patterns: collaborative/main editor, collaborative/passive/interactive editors, cooperative/interactive editors, and dominant/passive/main editor. The findings did not reveal that a relationship existed between the merged interaction pattern and the holistic evaluation of the final written texts. The results also revealed that students’ comments focused on language-related episodes (LREs). That is, in their comments, the students paid more attention to grammatical, and lexical aspects of the shared texts. The students’ responses to the questionnaire, in general, showed positive attitudes toward Google Docs and the small writing activity in the Arabic language classes.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)