This study examines the effects of providing persuasive writing and reading comprehension strategy training on source-based essay writing. Strategy training was administered through the use of the Writing Pal and the Interactive Strategy Trainer for Active Reading and Thinking (iSTART). The impact of both individual (writing or reading) and blended strategy training on source-based writing was investigated. A total of 261 participants completed the study; after removing incomplete and second language participants the source-based writing and system performance was assessed for 175 participants (n no instruction = 48, n iSTART =41, n Writing Pal =41, n blended =45).
Results indicated that participants who received blended strategy training produced higher quality source-based essays than participants who received only reading comprehension, writing strategy training, or no training. Furthermore, participants who received only reading comprehension or writing strategy training did not produce higher quality source-based essays than participants in the no-training control group. Time on task was investigated as a potential explanation for the results. Neither total time on task nor practice time were predictive of group differences on source-based essay scores. Analyses further suggested that the impact of strategy training does not differ as a function of prior abilities; however, training does seem to impact the relation between prior abilities and source-based essay scores. Specifically, prior writing ability was unrelated to performance for those who received writing training (i.e., Writing Pal and blended conditions), and prior reading ability was unrelated to performance for those received the full dosage of iSTART training. Overall, the findings suggest that when taught in conjunction with one another, reading comprehension and writing strategy training transfers to source-based writing, providing a positive impact on score. Potential changes to the Writing Pal and iSTART to more closely align training with source-based writing are discussed as methods of further increasing the impact of training on source-based writing.
- The impact of strategy instruction on source-based writing
- Educational technology
- Educational Psychology
- Writing Pal
- Report writing--Study and teaching (Higher)
- Reading comprehension--Computer-assisted instruction.
- Reading comprehension
- Rhetoric--Study and teaching--Computer-assisted instruction.