Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of English Language & Literature, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain


The present study examined the comparative effects of Etherpad-based writing instruction and face-to-face writing instruction on EFL learners' writing quality and writing self-efficacy. It also aimed at finding the learners' attitude towards the influence of Etherpad and their reason for success/ failure in this writing course. To this end, ninety students were selected through convenience sampling and randomly assigned to one of the two instruction groups. In addition to an IELTS writing task, Self-efficacy in Writing Scale (SWS) was administered. During the course, the students received instruction on writing an argumentative essay. After the treatment, the SWS and another IELTS writing task were given. Subsequently, a semi-structured interview was conducted with twenty Etherpad-based learners to find their attitudes towards the reason for their success/ failure and the effectiveness of Etherpad. The results revealed that the Etherpad-based group significantly outperformed the face-to-face group in the writing posttest and demonstrated a higher level of writing self-efficacy. The interview data showed that the students attributed their success to both internal and external factors. Whereas, they ascribed their failure to internal factors rather than external ones. It was also revealed that the students found Etherpad as a predictor of their success in writing performance.


Main Subjects

Adas, D., & Bakir, A. (2013). Writing difficulties and new solutions: Blended learning as an approach to improve writing abilities. International Journal of Humanities and Social Studies, 3(9), 254-266.
Ayan, E., & Seferglu, S. S. (2017). Using Etherpad for online collaborative writing activities and learners with different language learning strategies. Eurasian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 3(2), 42-59.
Bagheri, M. S., Behjat, F., & Yamini, M. (2013). Blending technology in writing instruction. International Journal of Social sciences and Education, 3(2), 422-437.
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. New York: Freeman.
Belkhir, A., & Benyelles, R. (2017). Identifying EFL learners essay writing difficulties and sources: A move towards solution the case of second year EFL learners at Tlemcen University. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 16(6), 80-88.
Boruchovitch, E. (2004). A study of causal attributions for success and failure in mathematics among Brazilian students. Inter-American Journal of Psychology, 38(1), 53-60.
Bouchaib, B., Ahmadou, B., & Abdelkader, S. (2018). High school students’ attributions of success in English language learning. International Journal of Instruction, 11(2), 89-102.
Chea, S., & Shumow, L. (2014). The relationships among writing self-efficacy, writing goal orientation, and writing achievement. Language Education in Asia, 5(2), 253-269.
Corneli, J. (2010). GravPad, in WikiSym 10. Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Wikis and Open Collaboration, Gdansk, Poland.
Corneli, J., & Mikroyannidis, A. (2010). Live annotation and content discovery in personal learning environments. 3rd Workshop on Mashup Personal Learning Environments at 5th European Conference on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ECTEL’10), Barcelona, Spain.
Dunlap, J. C. (2005). Workload reduction in online courses: Getting some shut-eye. Performance and Improvement, 44(5), 18-25.
Genc, G. (2016). Attributions to success and failure in English language learning: The effects of gender, age and perceived success. European journal of education studies, 2(12), 25-43.
Gobel, P., & Mori, S. (2007). Success and failure in the EFL classroom: Exploring students' attributional beliefs in language learning. In L. Roberts, A. Gürel, S. Tatar, & L. Marti (Eds.), EUROSLA Yearbook (pp. 149-169). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Graham, S. (2004). Giving up on modern foreign languages? Students’ perceptions of learning French. Modern Language Journal, 88(2), 171-191.
Hetthong, R., & Teo, A. (2013). Does writing self-efficacy correlate with and predict writing performance? International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 2(1), 157-167.
Holmes, M. (2016). Sources of self-efficacy information for writing: A qualitative inquiry (Unpublished master’s thesis). University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Retrieved December 2020 from:
Hsieh, P. H. (2004). How college students explain their grades in a foreign language course: The interrelationship of attributions, self-efficacy, language learning beliefs, and achievement (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Texas, Austin.
Kellogg, R. T., & Raulerson, B. A. (2007). Improving students' writing skills. Application of Cognitive Psychology in Education, 14, 237–242.
Kernan, M., & Howard, G. S. (1990). Computer anxiety and computer attitudes: An investigation of construct and predictive validity issues. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 50(3), 681-690.
Kim, D. H., Wang, C., Ahn, H. S., & Bong, M. (2015). English language learners’ self-efficacy profiles and relationship with self-regulated learning strategies. Learning and Individual Differences, 38, 136-142.
Kuo, Y. (2010). Interaction, Internet self-efficacy, and self-regulated learning as predictors of student satisfaction in distance education courses, (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Utah State University, Logan.
Lee, S. Y. (2001). The relationship of writing apprehension to the revision process and topic preference: A student perspective. Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on English Teaching, Taipei, Taiwan.
Leeder, C., & Shah, C. (2016). Library research as collaborative information seeking. Library & Information Science Research, 38(3), 202–211.
Lei, L., & Qin, X. (2009). An empirical study of success and failure attributions of EFL learners at the tertiary level in China. Asian EFL Journal, 11(3), 29-51.
Liu, M., Liu, L., & Liu, L. (2018). Group awareness increases student engagement in online collaborative writing. The Internet and Higher Education, 38, 1-8.
Notar, C. E., Wilson, J. D., & Ross, K. G. (2002). Distant learning for the development of higher-level cognitive skills. Education, 122, 642-650.
Pajares, F. (2003). Self-efficacy beliefs, motivation, and achievement in writing: A review of the literature. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 19(2), 139-158.
Peterson, C., Semmel, A., Von Baeyer, C., Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). The attributional style questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6, 287-299. 
Pintrich, P. R., & Schunk, D. H. (2001). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications (2nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Merrill/Prentice-Hall.
Rachels, J. R., & Rockinson-Szapkiw, A. J. (2018). The effects of a mobile gamification app on elementary students’ Spanish achievement and self-efficacy. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 31(1-2), 72-89.
Razak, N. A., Alakrash, H., & Sahboun, Y. (2018). English language teachers’ readiness for the application of technology towards fourth industrial revolution demands. Asia-Pacific Journal of Information Technology and Multimedia, 7(2), 89-98.
Rice, J. A. (2009). Devising collective knowledge for the technical writing classroom: A course-based approach to using Web 2.0 writing technologies in collaborative work tutorial. IEEE Transactions on professional Communications, 52(3), 303-315.
Schunk, D. H., & Pajares, F. (2010). Self-efficacy beliefs. In P. Peterson, E. Baker, & B. McGaw (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (3rd ed., pp. 668–672). Oxford, England: Elsevier.
Setyowati, L., & Sukmawan, S. (2016). EFL Indonesian students’ attitude toward writing in English. Arab World English Journal, 7(4), 365-378.
Soriano-Ferrer, M., & Alonso-Blanco, E. (2019). Why have I failed? Why have I passed? A comparison of students’ causal attributions in second language acquisition (A1–B2 levels). British Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(3), 1-15.
Takahashi, S. (2003). The role of attribution for success and failure in second language reading by Japanese university students (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Temple University, Michigan.
Tananuraksakul, N. (2014). Use of Facebook group as blended learning and learning management system in writing. Teaching English with Technology, 14(3), 3-15.
Tunison, S., & Noonan, B. (2001). Online learning: Secondary students’ first experience. Canadian Journal of Education, 26, 495-514.
Tynjala, P., Mason, L., & Lonka, K. (2001). Writing as a learning tool: Integrating theory and practice. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Weiner, B. (1985). An attributional theory of achievement motivation and emotion. Psychological Review, 92, 548-573.
Weiner, B. (1986). An attributional theory of motivation and emotion. New York: Springer- Verlag.
Weiner, B. (2000). Intrapersonal and interpersonal theories of motivation from an attributional perspective. Educational Psychology Review, 12, 1-14.
Williams, M., Burden, R. L., & Al-Baharna, S. (2001). Making sense of success and failure: The role of the individual in motivation theory. In Z. Dornyei & R. Schmidt (Eds.), Motivation and second language acquisition (pp. 171-184). Honolulu: University of Hawaii.
Wong, M. S. L. (2005). Language learning strategies and language self-efficacy: Investigating the relationship in Malaysia. ERLC Journal, 36, 245-271.
Woodrow, L. (2011). College English writing affect: Self-efficacy and anxiety. System, 39, 510-522.
Yaghoubi, A., & Rasouli, Z. (2015). EFL learners' attributions to English language learning. International Journal of English Language and Literature Studies, 4(3), 130-138.
Yavuz-Erkan, D. Y., & Saban, A. I. (2011). Writing performance relative to writing apprehension, self-efficacy in writing, and attitudes towards writing: A correlational study in the Turkish tertiary-level EFL context. Asian EFL Journal, 13(1), 163-191.
Yilmaz, C. (2012). An investigation into Turkish EFL students’ attributions in reading comprehension. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 3(5), 823-828.
Zarei, A. A., & Hashemipour, M. (2015). The effect of computer-assisted language learning (CALL)/web-based instruction on EFL learners’ general and academic self-efficacy. Academic Royale Des Sciences D’Outre-Mer Bulletin Des Seances, 4(4), 108-118.
Zhang, R., & Zou, D. (2021). Types, features, and effectiveness of technologies in collaborative writing for second language learning. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 35, 1-29.
Zhang, Y. (2018). Exploring EFL learners’ self-efficacy in academic writing based on process-genre approach. English Language Teaching, 11(6), 115-124.
Zheng, D., Young, M. F., Brewer, R. A., & Wagner, M. (2009). Attitude and self-efficacy change: English language learning in virtual worlds. CALICO Journal, 27(1), 205-231.