Collaborative Research Writing in the New Normal: Students’ Views, Challenges, Coping Strategies, and Takeaways
The ‘new normal’ setup of education posed challenges on courses requiring learners’ collaboration. Despite the proven advantages of collaborative writing, several challenges still confront the learners which may affect the quality of their output. Collaboration per se is already a challenge for learners in face-to-face classes, more so in online distance learning. Thus, this study explored the views, challenges, coping strategies, and takeaways of senior high school students in collaborative research writing in the ‘new normal.’ Thirty (30) reflective essays written by senior high school students from three (3) academic strands, namely Humanities and Social Sciences, General Academic, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics were analysed. Ten (10) sample essays from each strand were selected through Critical Case Sampling. Findings revealed that students view collaborative research writing in general as easy, while some see it as difficult. The students met challenges in research technicalities, communication, and collaboration. Varied coping strategies were identified, such as having a positive mindset, being patient, considerate and determined, seeking help from others, maintaining proper communication and collaboration, seeking spiritual guidance, and taking a break. Ultimately, the takeaways of the students were not limited to academics or cognitive aspects—they were also able to gain important values.