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ERIC Number: EJ1104385
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1559-0151
Writing Instruction and Assignments in an Honors Curriculum: Perceptions of Effectiveness
Caropreso, Edward J.; Haggerty, Mark; Ladenheim, Melissa
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, v17 n1 p257-269 Spr-Sum 2016
Learning to write well is a significant outcome of higher education, as confirmed and illustrated in the Written Communication VALUE Rubric of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Scholars agree that writing and thinking are linked. Thinking about this relationship between writing and thinking in the context of instructional strategies and assignments designed to improve students' critical thinking, researchers undertook research that began by surveying perceptions of writing competencies before and after taking a writing-intensive, four-course honors curriculum sequence. The following four research questions were addressed in this study: (1) Do students perceive a change in their critical-thinking writing abilities as a result of their instructional experiences, and if so, what are those changes?; (2) Do instructors perceive a change in their students' critical-thinking writing over the course of the instruction, and if so, what are those changes?; (3) Are student and instructor perceptions about critical-thinking writing consistent?; and (4) What classroom strategies and assignments are perceived by faculty and students to influence critical-thinking writing? Given the context of this research, researchers used a non-experimental, two-group design involving convenience sampling of students and faculty. Students were surveyed about their perceptions of their critical-thinking writing before and after completing the four-course sequence, as well as the effectiveness of instructional strategies and assignments that they encountered over the four semesters. Similarly, faculty were asked to participate in a survey parallel to the student version. Faculty surveys included items about the extent to which they perceived themselves to be effective in bringing about positive changes in students' critical-thinking writing by virtue of their instructional strategies and course assignments. The results of this study indicate that both students and faculty perceived the four-course sequence to have a positive and significant impact on student critical-thinking writing, even with the relatively unsystematic teaching strategies that result from different instructors and assignments in the sequence.
National Collegiate Honors Council. 1100 Neihardt Residence Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 540 North 16th Street, Lincoln, NE 68588. Tel: 402-472-9150; Fax: 402-472-9152; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A