Matching Items (7)
- Creators: Arizona State University
- Creators: Erickson, Mary
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.
In the next decade, community college English departments will expand their developmental course offerings. The students who take these developmental courses generally have higher incidence of diagnosed learnin g disabilities, bleak economic circumstances that require them to work full time, greater dependence on public transporation, and some level of frustration and confusion about being placed in a non-credit course despite graduating from high school. Using a qualitative approach, this action research study articulates the faculty behaviors, classroom environments, and faculty-student interactions that help developmental writing students succeed. The researcher interviewed successful students about what the faculty members did that helped them succeed in developmental writing classes. Then the researcher created and tested a checklist to help writing instructors conform their practices to best practices identified in published research and interviews with successful students. Instructors found the checklist useful in evaluating their own practices in relation to the current research.
Good Writing" in increasingly internationalized U.S. universities: how instructors evaluate different written varieties of English
This study investigates how university instructors from various disciplines at a large, comprehensive university in the United States evaluate different varieties of English from countries considered "outer circle" (OC) countries, formerly colonized countries where English has been transplanted and is now used unofficially and officially to varying degrees. The study was designed to address two gaps in the research: (1) how instructors in increasingly internationalized U.S. universities evaluate different written varieties of English, since many international students may be writing in an L1 other than American English, and (2) how instructors' first language and/or disciplinary backgrounds appear to affect their evaluations. Through a comparison of rankings and qualitative analysis of interview data, the study examines whether the participating instructors value the same features and characteristics in writing, such as text and organization features, found in American English and varieties of OC written English. In addition, it examines whether one's first or native language or one's disciplinary training affects the perception and evaluation of these particular varieties of English. This study showed that what is currently valued and expected by instructors from various disciplines in U.S. universities is what may be identified as an "American" style of writing; participants expected an organization providing a clear purpose up front, including paragraphs of a certain length, and containing sentences perceived as more direct and succinct. In addition, given the overall agreement on the element of good writing demonstrated in how composition and content area professors ranked the writing samples, my study suggests that what is being taught in composition is preparing student for the writing expected in content area classes. Last, my findings add to World Englishes (WE) research by adding a writing component to WE attitudinal research studies, which have previously focused on oral production. Almost equal numbers of Native and Non-Native English Speakers (NESs and NNESs) participated, and the NNESs appeared more tolerant of different varieties, unlike the preference for inner circle norms noted in previous studies. This study, therefore, has implications for writing research and instruction at U.S. colleges and universities, as well as informing the field of World Englishes.
Increasing numbers of courses are offered online and increasing numbers of students are pursuing post-secondary studies. At broad-access institutions, such as land grant universities and community colleges, this presents a particular concern around student persistence--that is, the number of students who complete diploma, certificate, or degree requirements from an institution. Such increased access and increased enrollment also present unique challenges to first-year writing instructors, who are often the first professionals with whom first-year students are in contact. Here I explore the many reasons why student persistence should interest first-year writing instructors, in particular, those who are teaching online. Student persistence has important civic, economic, ethical, institutional, and disciplinary implications that first-year instructors cannot ignore. I propose a persistence-based pedagogy that involves six essential elements: designing learner-centered online writing courses, demonstrating mattering by valuing student writing, fostering self-efficacy by making assignments relevant, fostering student connections through collaboration and community, engaging virtual learners by fostering a sense of place and presence, and recognizing the challenges and minimizing the risks of teaching online. Such an undertaking is necessarily transdisciplinary and draws on scholarship in rhetoric and composition, instructional design, educational psychology, applied linguistics, and higher education administration. It connects pedagogical principles advanced nearly fifty years ago with digital pedagogies that are in their infancy and attempts to balance the social epistemic nature of writing instruction with the real-world demands of diverse student populations, increasing course sizes, and ever-changing technologies. Perhaps most importantly, this dissertation focuses on strategies that online writing instructors can adopt regardless of their theoretical leanings, academic training, or institutional requirements. While persistence-based instruction does not change the purpose or outcomes of first-year composition and does not replace proper placement measures or address early-term drop rates, it does provide a framework for facilitating online courses that is rooted in rhetorical theory and composition pedagogy and promotes informed teaching and lifelong learning.
This quantitative, quasi-experimental study examined the effectiveness of three types of online guided-practice activities designed to increase learning of visual art concepts, the color concepts of hue, tint, shade, value, and neutral colors in particular, among fifth grade students in a large school district in the southwestern United States. The study's results indicated that, when students were given a limited amount of time to engage in practice activities, there was no statistically significant difference among the three types of guided practice and the control group. What was effective, however, was the instructional component of this study's instruments.
This study was designed to test a new method of instruction for Japanese language students' re-acquisition of the Japanese relative clause structure. 10 Japanese language students who had already been exposed to the Japanese relative clause in their previous semester were asked to take a pretest that assessed their (a) knowledge of basic grammar concepts such as a "subject" and "predicate," (b) their ability to apply those basic grammar concepts to the Japanese language, and (c) their grasp of the rules applying to the formation of the Japanese relative clause. Students were then placed into a control group containing 6 students and an experimental group containing four students. The experimental group received additional lessons consisting of explicit instruction of basic grammar in both Japanese and English, as well as basic noun relativization rules in each language. The study found that the explicit instruction helped student comprehension of the relative clause structure, although some difficulties remain in identifying the relative clause and in constructing it on their own.
Health science students like students in many disciplines exhibit difficulty with transferring content from one course to another. For example, the problem explored in this study occurred when overlapping concepts were presented in introductory biology and chemistry courses, but students could not transfer the concepts to the other disciplinary course. In this mixed method action research study, the author served as facilitator/leader of a group of colleagues tasked with investigating and taking steps to resolve this student learning transfer problem. This study outlines the details of how an interdisciplinary community of practice (CoP) formed between chemistry and biology faculty members at a community college to address the problem and the benefits resulting from the CoP. Quantitative and qualitative data were obtained from transcripts of meetings of the faculty members, notes from other formal and informal meetings, classroom visits, a questionnaire containing Likert and open-ended items and interviews. Transcripts, notes, and interviews were coded to determine common themes. Findings suggested the CoP was an effective means to deal with the matter of student transfer of content across courses. In particular, the CoP agreed to use similar terminology, created materials to be used consistently across the courses, and explored other transfer specific approaches that allowed for transfer of course content. Finally, the benefits of the CoP were due in large part to the collaboration that took place among participants.