The main aims of workgroup 4 are:
- advance our understanding of the impact of digital technologies on the processes of reading and writing,
- further developing theoretical research on, and methodological tools for, the field of “reading and writing in digital technologies”, in support of the overall scientific aims of ERN-LWE,
- further developing technological tools for studying and fostering the writing process,
- developing a standard for writing process data,
- building a database of writing processes.

The use of computers as writing instruments has not only had a profound effect on writing practice, but has also opened up new possibilities for writing research. Four different digital writing tools, were developed in Europe within the last 5 years:

  1. Eye and Pen
    Logs handwriting and eye movements using the “Eye and Pen” digitizing tablet
    Reference: Alamargot, Chesnet, Dansac & Ros, 2006
  2. Eyewrite and Scriptlog
    Log keystrokes in combination with eye movements Reference: Simpson & Torrance, 2006; Stromqvist et al., 2006 Website:
  3. Inputlog
    Logs keystrokes, mouse events and dictation/voice recognition input
    Reference: Van Waes & Leijten, 2006

These programs have been used to conduct extremely fine-grained studies of the time course of writing processes.

The main purpose of the research programs conducted within this workgroup is to enhance these tools and further validate them, and to advance our understanding of the impact of different technologies on the cognitive and sensorimotor processes involved in reading and writing.
Taking into consideration the cross-disciplinary character of this area, it is anticipated that these studies will focus on professional writers and advanced students (Workgroup 2 and 3), as well as on beginners and/or disabled writers (Workgroup 1). To realize these aims it is important to further develop the theoretical framework on which these tools are based.
Also the statistical methods that are used to analyze the writing process data need further consideration. This will be an iterative process that mainly focuses on a better understanding of ‘Reading during Writing’ and on the ‘Impact of digital media on the writing process’.

To facilitate and encourage data exchange, this project also aims at creating a shared technical and methodological standard for writing process data.


Last update : 19 January 2009


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