ERIC Number: ED393096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar-24
Reference Count: N/A
Situating Reading and Writing Abilities.
Van Every, David A.
A study examined the belief that to improve education, more must be learned not only about the abilities students bring into the classroom, but also about what the students do outside the classroom. Six freshmen were instructed to keep diaries detailing their views of college life. Each subject was given a blank diary entry on a diskette and instructions for making entries and sending them in by electronic mail and was required to write three or four entries per week for the duration of the semester. The diary instructions were designed around two questions: "How do students view their college experience?" and "What factors affect their academic motivation and performance?" The instructions directed students to write about significant daily experiences and to include opinions, observations, and nonacademic matters such as recreation and social life. By semester's end, over 200 diary entries were collected. Extensive illustrations from two students' diaries serve as examples of the entries. One student was an engineering student from Thailand and the second student was a science major who lived at home and commuted to campus by bus. The male Thai student worried about his slow reading speed, contrasted Thai and American teaching styles, and reported problems with concentrating. The female engineering student's concerns centered on her struggle managing time and adjusting to an unfamiliar style of teaching. Findings suggest that many variables need to be taken into account when evaluating students' performance and motivation. (CR)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Guides - Non-Classroom; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-26, 1995).