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ERIC Number: ED435097
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Oct-28
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Effects of Computer Skills and Feedback on the Gains in Students' Overall Writing Quality in College Freshman Composition Courses.
Davis, Wes; Mahoney, Kelley
This paper reports the results and educational implications of an experimental, comparative study evaluating the gains in overall writing quality in two groups of college freshmen composition students. The experimental group of 45 students learned to compose their first four of eight essays on the computer, while their professor intervened with feedback during their writing processes. The control group of 43 students did not receive this instructional treatment, as their instructor gave them feedback only after grading each of their eight handwritten products. The researchers hypothesized that feedback from the professor during the planning and composing processes, especially on the computer, was statistically more effective on students' writing quality than the other instructor's graded feedback on students' handwritten products. This study used a quantitative, pretest/post-test experimental design, with statistical analysis (paired T-tests). According to the results, the students' gains in overall writing quality, between pretest and post-test essays, were statistically significant for both comparison groups of college freshmen writers. However, statistically, there was a highly significant difference between the two groups in the students' post-test outcomes. The experimental group had significantly higher post-test scores and showed more significant gains in writing quality than the control group. In addition, students in the experimental group learned long-term skills in word processing for successful communication on any writing assignment. This study also suggests numerous variables or features in teaching writing for further research, helping educators realize that remaining "up close and personal" facilitates their students' planning, composing, and revising, especially on the computer, to produce much more effective college writers, as well as more successful graduates and employees. (Contains 20 references and 2 tables of data; an appendix presents a description of the essay scoring procedure.) (Author/EF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A