The Pedagogical Implications of Teachers as Digital Writers:
An Analysis of Revision in Digital Writing Environments
School of Teacher Education
Purpose: The purpose of this mixed-method study is threefold and is
designed to investigate ways in which: 1) teachers use revision in
their own writing; 2) digital writing environments impact revision
and revision instruction; and 3) the revision process is implemented
into teachers’ classrooms.
Research Questions: The research questions guiding the study are:
1)In what ways do teachers of writing use revision in their own
writing? 2) What are teachers’ perceptions of revision in their own
writing and in writing instruction in the classroom? 3) How do digital
writing environments impact revision and its instruction?
Method: This study is a pre-post longitudinal study with a random
sample of teachers who participate in the National Writing Project E-
anthology*. In addition, content analytic techniques will be used to
analyze subjects’ revised writing samples throughout the study.
Participants: A random sample of teachers participating in the
National Writing Project E-anthology* provided 253 study
participants. Significant demographic information of the study
participants include teaching experience (3 years to 45 years), grade
level taught (K-University), subject area (every subject area in K-12
schools represented, with over 50% of participants teaching English
Language Arts), and access to digital writing environments from their
classrooms (65% of participants).
Summary of Preliminary Findings: A number of participants in
the study teach revision and don’t realize that they do. A significant
percentage of participants believe that they are teaching revision,
when in fact, they were only teaching editing and proofreading
strategies. And yet, the division between revision and editing is
becoming increasingly blurred as drafting, revision, and editing in
digital environments becomes increasingly simultaneous.
When asked for their definition of ‘revision’,
• 65% of participants provided a definition of revision consistent
with research in the field of composition (Sommers, 1982).
• 35% of participants provided a definition that was not
consistent with research in the field of composition (Sommers,
When writing for any reason (professionally, informally, creatively,
• 95% of participants said they revise their work
• 5% of participants said they do not revise their work
When planning their curriculum,
• 63% of participants said they plan time for students to revise
• 37% of participants said they do not plan time for students to
revise their work
77% of participants said their use of digital writing environments to Tier II
revise their own writing increased their willingness to teach November 2009-Randomly selected 10 of the study participants to
revision. Study participants most often cited the following: the participate in a focus group held at the National Writing Project’s Annual
importance of audience in writing, the collaboration/community Meeting in Philadelphia, PA. These focus group participants will also take
that can develop in responding to others, the importance of using part in a professional development Ning.
digital writing environments, even in F2F classrooms, and the use Tier III
February 2010-Received access and permission to study the NWP E-
of technology as motivator for student participation in revision.
anthology respondents from May-August 2010, specifically focusing on
the ways in which peer responses to writing in digital writing
environments lead to revision.
November 2010-Random selection of 10 of the study participants to
participate in a focus group held at the National Writing Project’s Annual
Meeting in Orlando, FL.
*The National Writing Project (NWP) is a professional development network that serves teachers of writing at all grade levels, primary through university, and in all subjects. The
mission of the NWP is to improve student achievement by improving the teaching of writing and improving learning in the nation’s schools. Universities and colleges host the more than
200 local sites that make up the NWP network. Local sites serve all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sites work in partnership with area
districts to offer high-quality professional development programs for educators.
The National Writing Project E-Anthology is an online forum for invitational summer institute participants to publish their writing and reflections. It is facilitated by experienced writing
project teacher-consultants from around the country in coordination with NWP staff. The E-Anthology was developed with three main purposes: to introduce summer institute
participants to the national network of sites, to serve as an online writers' publication and response group site, and to provide a collegial online forum for writing project teachers.