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Challenges of Researching Transfer Assessing change or development in writing is... compounded methodologically by the fact that written products do not.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges of Researching Transfer Assessing change or development in writing is... compounded methodologically by the fact that written products do not."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges of Researching Transfer Assessing change or development in writing is... compounded methodologically by the fact that written products do not tell the whole story of what has transpired for the writer. Robust research methods are required to assess writing development (24). --Anne Beaufort, College Writing and Beyond: A New Framework for University Writing Instruction (2007)

2 Five Knowledge Domains for Transfer of Writing Expertise Writing Process Knowledge Subject Matter Knowledge Genre Knowledge Rhetorical Knowledge Discourse Community Knowledge Anne Beaufort, College Writing and Beyond, 2007

3 Data Model: Research on Genre Learning Students have created or developed a sense of new genres at levels below the conscious and are using shaping or creative powers that were neither verbal nor rational. The data on which such creative shaping operate include the following: 1. Students past and current reading 2. Students own previous essays 3. Teachers assignments 4. Talk elicited about writing --Aviva Freedman, Learning to Write Again: Discipline- Specific Writing at University. Carleton Papers in Applied Language Studies 4 (1987):

4 Research Methods Survey of Composition I students re: past literacy experiences (reading, writing, digital literacy), both in school and out of school; Discourse-based interviews asking student to reflect on how they called on previous discursive resources in order to write their first paper in FYC; Collection and analysis of writing produced in FYC as well as syllabi and writing assignments.

5 Survey Part I: Demographic Information (gender, race, class, major, educational background) Part II: Access to Technology at Home and School Part III: Identification of types of communication in school, outside of school, and on the job

6 Survey Part IV: Open-ended Questions What is your favorite/least favorite kind of writing? Why? What kinds of writing have you had the most success performing? What do you consider your most/least successful piece of writing (in school or out) and why? What do you do when you encounter new writing tasks? What resources, skills, or habits do you draw on? What high school writing experiences (if any) do you think will help you most to succeed in your college writing course?

7 Interview Protocol: Questions on Preliminary Writing/Diagnostic When you got the assignment, what previous kinds of writing from both in and out of school did it most remind you of? What did you think you had to do? And how did you figure that out? Once you figured out what you had to do, what kinds of past writing experiences did you use to help you write it?

8 Interview Protocol: Questions on First Major Paper What do you think the expectations for this assignment were? What audience did you have in mind as you were writing this paper? Did this writing remind you of other writing youve done before? If so, how? As you wrote, what kinds of writing from before this class did you draw on to help you? I am interested in how your prior writing experience came into play in writing this paper. Can you point out phrases or places as examples of this? Who or what influenced your decisions about which kinds of writing to draw on?

9 Interview Protocol: Questions on FYC Course Experience What writing strategies have you learned so far that helped you write this paper? Can you point to places or phrases where you used these strategies to make the paper what you thought was expected? Were there any differences between your previous experiences with writing and the expectations of this assignment that made it difficult for you to write the paper? (If yes:) Like what? I am interested in hearing about how have you worked through any competing expectations. Were there any places you didnt follow the expectations of the assignment? Why?

10 URL for UT/UW Prior Genre Study For copies of the survey instruments and interview protocols for the UW/UT studies, please visit:

11 Genre as Tool for Learning Genre is a tool for getting at the resources the students bring with them, the genres they carry from their educations and their experiences in society, and it is a tool for framing challenges that bring students into new domains that are as yet for them unexplored, but not so different from what they know as to be unintelligible. --Charles Bazerman, The Life of Genre, The Life in the Classroom, Genre and Writing, 1997


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