Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
A study investigated current research on approaches to instruction, modes of instruction, and foci of instruction in the teaching of writing. Surveys of students and faculty at Northeast Iowa Community College were conducted to determine the status of composition instruction with regard to approaches to and modes and foci of instruction. Thirty-three students (out of 39) in a Composition 2 class and 11 students (out of 13) in a Composition 1 class responded to the survey, while 27 faculty members (out of 47) responded to another survey designed to elicit data on faculty perceptions of writing as it applies to the needs of students in various career areas. Results of the research study and the surveys will guide the development of transfer-level writing courses at the community college. Six approaches are currently in use: literature, text-based rhetoric, peer workshop, service course, basic skills, and individualized approaches. Of the four modes of instruction identified in prior studies--the presentational, the environmental, the renamed natural process, and the individualized--the environmental mode offers the greatest potential for improving writing. Foci of instruction most likely to lead to improved writing skill are inquiry techniques, use of scales, sentence combining, models, and peer-responding. Less improvement is likely using free writing and teacher-only feedback and revision, and negative effects are likely using direct instruction in grammar and mechanics. (Nine tables of data are included; three appendixes containing surveys are attached.) (Author/SR)
M.A. Project, University of Northern Iowa.
Northeast Iowa Community College; Student Surveys; Teacher Surveys