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ERIC Number: EJ1116068
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Sep-30
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1554-8244
Instructor Feedback in Upper-Division Biology Courses: Moving from Spelling and Syntax to Scientific Discourse
Szymanski, Erika Amethyst
Across the Disciplines, v11 n2 Sep 2014
In this study, I present an analysis of instructor comments on assignments written for upper-division courses in the biological sciences as a window into current practices around teaching science writing to major students. My results demonstrate that, while the overwhelming majority of instructors respond primarily to lower order issues of grammar and other surface mechanics, a minority comment primarily on concerns specific to scientific discourse with a corresponding decrease in focus on lower-order issues. What discriminates between these two groups is that the minority assign genres that closely mimic fully-developed professional writing in the appropriate field; the majority assign conventional undergraduate genres such as the research paper that do not explicitly reference the writing students who continue in the field can expect to perform following graduation. Interviewing several of the professors in this minority, I find that their attitudes toward teaching with writing are closely coupled with envisioning student writing as apprentice-professional work, suggesting that encouraging faculty in such attitudes may, in addition to other benefits, improve their feedback practices.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A