Ubiquitous writing: Writing technologies for situated mediation and proactive assessment

Vive Kumar, Maiga Chang, Tracey Leacock

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Writing is a core skill students are expected to develop early in their schooling. However, tracking and understanding the development of learners' expertise in writing poses considerable challenges, given the complexity of the writing process and the volume of data. This paper discusses two technologically-enhanced pedagogical methods that hold the potential to enhance writing competence. The first method uses a situated learning activity involving the use of cellular phones to assist mobile learners. The second method tracks learners' activities as they complete a writing exercise using a special mixed-initiative editor called MI-Writer. Preliminary results from two studies, one conducted in Taiwan involving a mobile learning treasure hunt, and the second conducted in New Zealand provide insight into possible uses of these pedagogical approaches to support mobile student writers. We use the results of the studies to emphasize the need for ubiquitous, situated, mixed-initiative writing support for students. We present an overview of the technology behind these two platforms and discuss their real-world applicability based on experimental studies. These technology platforms could be extended to measure individual competencies, identify writing competency-gaps, and promote means to address these gaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
JournalUbiquitous Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Mixed-Initiative Interactions
  • Mobile Technologies
  • Model Tracing
  • Situated Writing
  • Ubiquitous Writing


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