ERIC Number: ED395323
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Nov-18
Reference Count: 0
Writing Partners: Improving Writing and Learning through Supplemental Instruction in Freshman Writing Classrooms.
Supplemental Instruction (SI) has been firmly established as a tool for helping college students succeed in beginning writing courses. The SI model is based on a Piagetian-constructivist theoretical framework, which holds that learning is an active process in which learners "construct" their own knowledge, making it an essential part of themselves. SI leaders must therefore become "facilitators," people who help others learn, rather than "tutors" or "teachers" who dispense knowledge. A study was conducted at Black Hills State University, which has an open admission policy and high attrition and dropout rates in the first writing course. A pilot program in Supplemental Instruction was established at this college after the South Dakota Board of Regents mandated some specific form of remediation for students who were having difficulty. Five sections of English 101 were selected for the program. A diagnostic essay was administered at the beginning and end of the experimental, control and remaining (non-participating) sections. Results validated that the SI can help students improve writing skills, raise grades, reduce failure and lower attrition. A significant difference in improvement in scores appeared among the experimental sections, the control sections, and the remaining sections. One limitation of the study was that the scorers were aware that they were looking at end-of-the-semester essays; ideally, it would have been better if beginning- and end-of-the-semester essays had not been identified as such. (Contains 10 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Black Hills State College SD; Facilitators
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Council of Teachers of English (85th, San Diego, CA, November 16-21, 1995).