Computer-based scaffolding to facilitate students' development of expertise in academic writing

Antje Proske, Susanne Narciss, Danielle S. McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Research on expert performance suggests that deliberate practice provides optimal opportunities for expertise development. This study examined whether the provision of computer-based scaffolding (CBS) guiding deliberate practice facilitates students' development of writing expertise. A CBS environment escribo was designed to externally support expert writing activities, generate feedback and offer opportunities to practise corrected performance in academic writing. There were two testing times. First, the effects of practising writing with escribo were compared with the effects of a practice-only situation without support. Second, a post-test comprised composing an essay discussing an academic position without scaffolding. Results revealed that the escribo group at both testing times wrote essays of better comprehensibility than students in the practice-only group. Furthermore, at both testing times the escribo group expended significantly more time on prewriting. These findings suggest that CBS guiding deliberate practice may be a promising means to facilitate the development of writing expertise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-152
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Research in Reading
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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