Inquiry into online learning communities: Potential for fostering collaborative writing

Wenli WU, Qing MA, Ieda M. SANTOS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This study used a community of inquiry (CoI) framework to investigate the potential in terms of fostering collaborative writing of integrating online learning communities (OLCs) with English language learning. The aim was to examine the possible impacts of out-of-class OLCs (guided by teachers) on students’ collaborative English writing outcomes and learning satisfaction. In accordance with the CoI framework, an experiment was conducted and both quantitative (end-of-semester group essay scores) and qualitative (interviews and field notes) data were collected. The results indicate the teacher-guided out-of-class OLC approach to be more effective than the lecture-based approach when it comes to fostering English learners’ collaborative writing. More specifically, the online approach helps students to write better group research essays, develop higher levels of satisfaction concerning their learning experiences and devote more time to the learning process. The results suggest that future studies of OLCs should examine the provision of safe and supportive learning environments intended to foster autonomous learning. Moreover, the results have a number of implications with regard to enhancing students’ learning motivation in out-of-class OLCs. Copyright © 2022 Wenli Wu et al.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-44
JournalJournal of China Computer-Assisted Language Learning
Issue number1
Early online date08 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 26 Aug 2022


Wu, W., Ma, Q., & Santos, I. M. (2022). Inquiry into online learning communities: Potential for fostering collaborative writing. Journal of China Computer-Assisted Language Learning, 2(1), 20-44. doi: 10.1515/jccall-2022-0006


  • Autonomous learning
  • Collaborative English writing
  • Community of inquiry framework (CoI)
  • Online learning communities


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