NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED525431
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 152
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-8431-0
A Learning Community Project: Comparative Interventions on Writing Apprehension and Locus of Control of Developmental Students at a Two-Year College
Burrell, Terri Massie
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Maryland, College Park
The education of under-prepared college students is a topic that interested and motivated this researcher to conduct a study on learning communities and measuring change in writing apprehension and locus of control of developmental students at a community college. Higher education is generally viewed as a place for the intellectually elite. However, more institutions are finding that students are enrolling at post-secondary institutions lacking proficiency in basic skills such as mathematics, reading, and writing. This study focused on the developmental studies area of writing. A limited, but growing, number of institutions are pursuing differing ways of addressing the educational needs of students at risk of possible failure. Astin's (1984, 1999) foundational research states that locus of control is a factor of consideration to facilitate academic success for college students who are coming to some resolve about whether they have influence over, or if their effort in college is directly correlated with, successful outcomes; that is, students' beliefs about control being external or by chance opposed to internal based on effort or involvement. Pajares' (2003) research which is grounded in Bandura's work (1986) found that students' beliefs about their writing have an influence on academic outcomes. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the sparse body of knowledge in developmental education and the success of developmental writing students. The goal was to increase the knowledge base about developmental writing students at a two-year college and their engagement in a learning community. This study examined the effect of a learning community intervention for students attending a community college. Specifically, the study included an experimental component to examine through pre- and post-test measures the pedagogical implications and strategies to determine if there was an improvement in locus of control and writing apprehension. The study was to determine if three groups of community college students enrolled in a variation of two courses would achieve positive academic outcomes after a semester of participation in the learning community as measured by the Writing Apprehension Measure (WAM) and the Adult Nowicki Strickland Internal External Control Scale (ANS-IE). One group was involved in a loosely linked learning community, i.e., co-enrolled in a college success course (CSS 110) and developmental English writing (ENGL 81). A second group was enrolled only in ENGL 81 and a third group was enrolled only in CSS 110. The analysis of covariance concludes that there was no statistical significance in the posttest results among the three groups after controlling for the pretest score. The instruments used were measures of writing apprehension and locus of control. The level of writing apprehension and the higher levels of extrinsic locus of control were noted. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A