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Researching FYC Programs: Investigating Student Readiness, Program Relevance, and Relationships between Writing Programs Presenters: University of Tennessee.

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Presentation on theme: "Researching FYC Programs: Investigating Student Readiness, Program Relevance, and Relationships between Writing Programs Presenters: University of Tennessee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Researching FYC Programs: Investigating Student Readiness, Program Relevance, and Relationships between Writing Programs Presenters: University of Tennessee Bill Doyle Mary Jo Reiff Presenters: University of Washington Anis Bawarshi Sergio Casillas Rachel Goldberg Megan Kelly Angela Rounsaville

2 URL for UT/UW Prior Genre Study For a copy of todays PowerPoint presentation, in addition to copies of survey questions, interview questions, and preliminary results, please visit:

3 Overall Research Questions What genres (written, oral, digital) do students already know when they arrive in first-year composition courses? How do students use their prior genre knowledge when writing new genres for first-year composition courses? What factors contribute to how and why students transform prior genre knowledge into new genre knowledge? To what extent does this prior knowledge help or hinder students ability to gain access to academic discourse?

4 Research Questions for Presentation What genres do study students write most frequently? What genres do students write most in different domains (school, work, other)? What genres overlap domains the most?

5 Research Questions for Presentation What kinds of writing do students most enjoy and why? What kinds of writing do students least enjoy and why? What do students consider their most successful writing and why? What do student consider their least successful writing and why? What prior writing experiences do students think will most help them succeed in FYC?

6 Data Model for 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):

7 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.

8 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

9 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?

10 UT Student Sample Surveys distributed to 10% of all English 101: Composition I courses (Fall 2006) or 15 randomly selected sections of 101 (N=345) Number of students responding to the survey: 52 Follow-up interviews with 9 students

11 Profile of UT Students Surveyed GenderRaceLanguages Spoken

12 Profile of UT Students Surveyed Economic Class

13 Profile of UT Students Surveyed Parent/Guardian Educational Background

14 Profile of UT Students Surveyed Type of School AttendedClass Rank

15 Profile of UT Students Surveyed Majors: Business (10) Nursing (7) Undecided (6) Engineering (4) Education (3) Pharmacy (3) Psychology (2) Pre-Med (2) Sciences (2) Law, Advertising, Optometry, Economics, Theater, Interior Design, Sports Management, Exercise Science, Architecture, Music, Computer Science, Spanish, Anthropology (1)

16 UW Student Sample Surveys distributed to all students enrolled in 33 sections English 131: Expository Writing (Fall 2006) (N=748) Number of students responding to the survey: 64 Follow-up interviews with 18 students

17 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Gender

18 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Race

19 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Languages Spoken Fluently

20 Profile of UW Students Surveyed First Language/Dialect

21 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Economic Class

22 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Parent/Guardian Educational Background

23 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Type of School Attended

24 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Class Rank

25 Profile of UW Students Surveyed Major

26 UT Survey: What genres do students write most frequently? Text Messaging 1 Spoken Word 3 Analytic Essays4 Creative Writing5 Research Paper6 Classroom Discussion7 Personal Essay Summary Chat Student Self-Report 1 Reports 2 Research Papers 3 Text Messaging 4 Instant Messaging 5 Summary 6 Personal Essay 7 Notes on Reading 8 Letters9 Chat 10 Genre List Tie in ranking

27 UT Survey: What genres do students write most in school?

28 UT Survey: What genres do students write most out of school?

29 UT Survey: What genres do students write most on the job?

30 UT Survey: What genres overlap in these domains (in school, out of school, at work)? Genre List

31 UT Survey: What genres overlap in these domains (in school, out of school, at work)? Student Self-Report

32 Genres UW Students Write most Frequently

33 Genres UW Students Write most in School

34 Genres UW Students Write most at Work

35 Genres UW Students Write most in Other Domains

36 Genre Use Overlap: School and Work

37 Genre Use Overlap: School and Outside

38 Genre Use Overlap: Work and Outside

39 Genre Use Overlap: School, Work, and Outside

40 UT Survey: What is your favorite kind of writing? Why? Creative Writing: 16 Total (8 no specified genre, 4 poetry, 2 short stories, 1 creative nonfiction, 1 fantasy) Emotive/Expressive: It's what you're feeling. I can express myself. It is about what I'm thinking and feeling. It allows me to set my own rules and express myself. I use it to express emotions, convey ideologies, and to reflect my growth. Because it allows me to express my feelings and thoughts and I can never be wrong about how I feel. You can really write about something youre passionate about. I love rhyming and expressing my feelings in ways that dont always have to be perfect in grammar and composition. Other Reasons: I can structure the paper how I want and infuse the information I deem worth writing about. No right or wrong way to do it. I like to come up with different ideas.

41 UT Survey: What is your favorite kind of writing? Why? Personal Writing, Personal Essays, Personal Letter: 6 I can just write how I feel and analyze myself rather than analyzing something I haven't seen before. Freewriting: 5 You can write whatever comes to mind. Journaling: 5 Theres no particular form. It is just your opinions and thoughts. A way for me to express my emotions and whats going on in my life daily. Persuasive: 4 I have used it the most and feel most comfortable with it. It is what was most heavily taught to us in school. Research: 4 It is what I have done the most of. I know all the information that has to go into the paper and I know its not the wrong answer. Enjoy the research and the preparation.

42 UT Survey: What is your least favorite kind of writing? Why? Research Papers: 14 I have a hard time determining reliable sources. Don't enjoy having to hunt down sources and compile them, or twist them to fit an argument. All of the citations. Structured and tedious. Have to follow many guidelines. They are on the research of other people that we combine all together in one paper. Boring and require no imagination. Topic is something I generally don't care about. Difficult to write without sounding like a report. Creative: 12 Total (Poetry 9, No Specified Genre 3) It is never interpreted how it is supposed to be interpreted. I think it is hard to understand. I just dont get it. I suck at it. Does not come easily to me and I have to work at it. I find it difficult to write. Despise it.

43 UT Survey: What is your least favorite kind of writing? Why? Analytical: 6 Poetry is already written words, and I just don't like having to analyze someone else's thoughts or feelings. Usually the topic we have to analyze I either don't know much about or care about. I do not always get the main point and therefore do badly. Structured. It's hard for me to dig really deep into the meaning of something. I have a hard time analyzing someone else's work that is on paper when I can't talk to them in person. Reports: 6 You usually have to interpret what someone else is trying to say when you don't even know them. Its simply summarizing another's thoughts. They are often assigned on a topic, rather than on something students wants to learn about. All the guidelines involved and because of the lack of my own opinion. Following a set format, and that usually is boring. Not interested/forced to write on those topics.

44 From UT Survey: What kinds of writing have you had the most success performing? Genres identified by form/mode:

45 From UT Survey: What kinds of writing have you had the most success performing? Genres identified primarily by rhetorical purpose or aim:

46 From UT Survey: What do you consider your most successful piece of writing (in school or out)? *45 respondents total (could be more than one response)

47 From UT Survey: What do you consider your most successful piece of writing (in school or out)? Why? Interest in subject; self-investment/enjoyment: 14 My first paper I turned in for my Freshman college comp. class. It was a rhetorical analysis of an artifact that was meaningful to us. I chose some thing I really loved and you could feel it in my writing. Time investment; work and effort put in: 11 A big research paper for my sophomore English class because we worked on them for over a month. We had to turn in research cards, outlines, several rough drafts. This paper was probably the best I have written because I spent a lot more time on it than I have spent on any other paper.

48 From UT Survey: What do you consider your most successful piece of writing (in school or out)? Why? Rhetorical Effectiveness: 9 My senior speech I wrote for graduation. I wrote my speech and tweaked it for months before my audition. When I heard that I got picked, I was really excited. Everyone has always told me that I am a good public speaker but I'd never really put any stock in it. When gave my speech it was received very well. Giving my speech was received really well and that experienced has changed my life. New information learned: 5 My Senior Project research paper because it focused on my major in college and provided me with great new knowledge.

49 From UT Survey: What do you consider your most successful piece of writing (in school or out)? Why? Grade earned: 5 My research paper senior year on the author of the Harry Potter series. I got one of the highest grades in the class on it. Knew expectations and met requirements: 3 My most successful piece of writing was senior year of high school. This was a research paper. It was successful because I knew exactly what the teacher wanted and it was not opinionated or analyzed at all. I researched the topic in depth and wrote about the information I found.

50 From UT Survey: What do you consider your least successful piece of writing? Why? *46 respondents (could be more than one response)

51 From UT Survey: What do you consider your least successful piece of writing? Why? Lack of enjoyment/interest: 12 A research paper I did in high school because I didnt care about the subject. Lack of Quality: 8 Any type of poetry because I suck at it. Lack of preparation/effort: 5 A paper that I had to write at the beginning of junior year, because I wrote it in one night and spent little to no time on it.

52 From UT Survey: What do you consider your least successful piece of writing? Why? Rhetorical ineffectiveness: 3 Any poetry I did because I was never able to accomplish what the teacher had intended. Time restrictions: 4 Something in-class--I probably put it together too quickly and it probably seemed sophomoric. Too many rules/restrictions: 3 The writing assessment paper in my junior year of highschool where you are given a topic and a time limit and you have to write a five point essay.

53 UW Survey: Reflective Questions #1-4 1.What types of writing do you most enjoy? Why? 2.What types of writing do you least enjoy? Why? 3.What do you consider to be your most successful piece of writing? Why? 4.What do you consider to be your least successful piece of writing? Why?

54 UW Survey: What types of writing do you most enjoy? What types of writing do you least enjoy?

55 UW Survey: What do you consider to be your most successful piece of writing? What do you consider to be your least successful piece of writing?

56 Comparison of all reported genre types

57 UW Survey: Reasons for Most Enjoyable Writing

58 Most Enjoyable Writing I enjoy journal writing because it allows me to express myself and my emotions and serves almost as a purging of emotions. Scholastically, I most enjoy research papers since they are, frankly, the easiest. Generally I enjoy writing persuasive essays because I can find my own evidence and I dont have to rely on a text that I am given. I find it easier to find my own texts and understand those better than the texts given to me by teachers/professors.

59 UW Survey: Reasons for Least Enjoyable Writing

60 Least Enjoyable Writing Literary analysis - never found the most correct meaning without Cliff/Spark notes. Formal presentations - I feel like a lobster being judged on its ability to jump through a hoop. I least enjoy essays because I have to make sense to the reader and Im not good at that. Also because Im absolutely terrible at making a point or a thesis statement of some kind.

61 UW Survey: Reasons for Least Successful Writing

62 Least Successful Writing Any piece of writing that I do for a class where I do not learn anything and is never read again after the initial grading. …My first essay I wrote for my freshman English class. Coming out of a private school that stressed English grammar, I entered a public school setting that expected some sort of writing ability. Having never learned how to properly write an essay, I struggled tremendously with my first essay.

63 UW Survey: Reasons for Most Successful Writing

64 Most Successful Writing A personal narrative essay that addressed the most important lessons I have learned in the past thirteen years. It was submitted for the senior profiles section of my schools yearbook. I wrote about my struggle with my disability and how I overcome much adversity, learning important life lessons while inspiring many people. I used this essay for college applications and scholarships. I also shared it with family and friends who wanted to know more about me.

65 Most Successful Writing I havent really measured my writing in success, but I guess it would have to be a poem I wrote in eight grade that was published as part of a student collection. that would have to be a literary analysis I wrote for my ap english class. I made my point and supported it with quotes, plus I got a good grade on it. I wrote a sequel of sorts to Shakespeares All the worlds a stage piece. I compared life to advances in computing; I through it came out well, and my teacher loved it to the point of keeping a copy for herself and giving me extra points. It stands out in my mind because it made me realize that my writing could entertain (and do a good job of it).

66 Preliminary Findings Findings do not indicate correlation between enjoyment/success and genre type Students tend to associate enjoyment with personal fulfillment Students tend to express lack of enjoyment, lack of success, and success in social terms Genre type does not predict success; success may be dependent on uptake and social action

67 From UT Survey: What do you do when you encounter new writing tasks? What resources, skills, or habits do you draw on? Knowledge of Writing Process: 24 [Prewriting (freewriting/brainstorming)-14; outlining-4, drafting-3, revising-3] --When I encounter new writing tasks I often think about the task in depth for a couple of hours and then do some free writing. When I have most of my thoughts gathered and somehow down on paper, I try to organize them. I let many others read and correct mistakes on every paper I write. --I find that brainstorming before I start writing helps me greatly.

68 From UT Survey: What do you do when you encounter new writing tasks? What resources, skills, or habits do you draw on? Outside feedback: 16 [teachers-6, peers-3, experienced writers-5, family-2] --I talk to other people, teachers or experienced writers in my class, and see how they would go about writing it. --The best resource I have found is having someone proof read my papers. I think having someone else read it, they will find mistakes that you didn't notice, or maybe just clarify something that didn't make much sense. --Ask Teacher or my mother which is a professor for assistance or more explanation, Read other peoples writings that are similar.

69 From UT Survey: What do you do when you encounter new writing tasks? What resources, skills, or habits do you draw on? Online research: 11 --I generally google it to find out more information. --Look up examples on the internet or library. --Mostly I like to turn to information on the internet when I do not know what I am doing. It, for me, is simply the easiest thing to work with.

70 From UT Survey: What do you do when you encounter new writing tasks? What resources, skills, or habits do you draw on? Reference to past educational experiences, skills, and resources: 10 --Think about what my past teaches have showed me and I use those experiences to help me. --Past experiences and resources I found back in high school. Reference to past writing/samples: 7 --I try to pull from my successful papers and past writing directions.

71 What previous writing experience do you think will help you most to succeed in this course or in writing at the University of Tennessee? High school writing/Genres: 16 (papers-3, research-2, persuasion-2, critique-2, essay- 2, report-2, TCAP, fantasy, senior portfolio) --My research and persuasion papers I had to write for Contemporary Issues. --My experience in writing in high school: critiques, essays, reports, etc. --Persuasive essays are probably the most helpful that I have completed before for this course.

72 What previous writing experience do you think will help you most to succeed in this course or in writing at the University of Tennessee? High school writing courses: 9 --My entire senior English class in high school in which we covered a little of everything. --My senior English class from high school will probably be the most helpful because of the way my teacher exposed me to the different writing styles and helped us cover many different areas of writing. --I think that writing several papers in high school english classes as well as other subjects in "writing across the curriculum" programs, i am less stressed out by the idea of having to write. AP courses: 8 -- I did write alot of AP essays last year and that experience will probably help this year. --My AP writing course will help me the most to succeed in my writing at UT.

73 What previous writing experience do you think will help you most to succeed in this course or in writing at the University of Tennessee? Writing frequency in past: 7 --Just writing lots of papers in high school. --Me writing a essay every week for my English class in high school will help me a lot in college. --My English teacher made us write every week. Without her I would be dropping English. Influential writing teachers:5 --My senior year teacher was a great teacher because she really got to know us individually and taught us how to write an appealing paper. --I had a great teacher for my senior year English IV. I have been reading some advice that he gave us.

74 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

75 Considering the syllabus you have received for English 131, your first week preliminary essay, and your work toward the first major paper, what high school writing experiences (if any) do you think will help you to succeed in the course?

76 Experiences writing different genres: 22 –Academic (Research Papers, Term Papers, Analysis Papers, Opinion Papers, Persuasive Essays) I think that the literary analyses, the ones that werent answer this prompt or explain this symbol, but the questions that were more along the lines of, What did YOU get out of X Book? What weve done so far is pretty structured, but I get the feeling that these structures will give way to a space that well be expected to fill with our own ideas, and so I think that the guideless free-writing and/or open-ended questions about what we as individuals understood will be the most helpful. I feel that the practice of writing free response papers in my AP English class last year will be very helpful in helping me formulate cohesive arguments in my English papers this year.

77 I hate the five-paragraph essay format, but I am thankful I had to adhere to it for a time because it provides a good starting point for writing about a complex or confusing subject. –2 Non-Academic (Journals, Creative Writing) English II Honors was a course that my teacher mistakingly (sic) focused on creative writing. Now it aids me because my approach to essay prompts are much more appealing to my audience.

78 Skills, strategies, and conventions: 11 My high school writing experience with arguments and using blended quotes and analysis will help me in this course becasue (sic) it helped me to see where arguments were developed from, backed and fromed (sic); while also providing me with the analysis tools to examine an argument and use parts to express what I thought the author was trying to convey in the piece. I think the writing structures that I developed in highschool (sic) will really help me. The organizational skills that I have aquired (sic) need to be tweaked a little bit to allow for more complext (sic) topics and ideas. Emphasis on how to construct a thesis was helpeful (sic), even as we break away from that basic construct into producing more complex claims.

79 Experiences in AP classes and other college prep classes: 10 I think I am MUCH more prepared to write in college because of my AP classes, not only English but also European and American History and government and economics. By taking AP courses I feel I have GREATLY increased my chances to succeed as a college student. They got me out of the mindset that a five paragraph paper is the only way to write and got me to start thinking abstractly about my writing style. AP English!!! Ive seen all of those course goals written in the same scary vocabulary-wording, and had to adhere to them.

80 The whole experience of high school writing: 6 Nothing specifically comes to mind, just the general experience collected after four years of essays. Influence of teachers: 5 Being taught by two english professors in high school was ultimately the most helpful resource, simply because I know MLA format, what professors are looking for, etc.

81 Experience with the writing process: 2 well we had to edit our papers so that will help but I think its good that we actually go though the whole process step by step Frequency of writing in high school: 2 I think that all the writing I had to do for honors english (about 1 essay a week) will help me for english 131. Just writing a lot.

82 UW Course Outcomes To demonstrate an awareness of the strategies that writers use in different writing contexts. To read, analyze, and synthesize complex texts and incorporate multiple kinds of evidence purposefully in order to generate and support writing. To produce complex, analytic, persuasive arguments that matter in academic contexts. To develop flexible strategies for revising, editing, and proofreading writing.


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