Writing Tutoring in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study on the Effectiveness of Directive and Nondirective Tutoring

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/620679
Title:
Writing Tutoring in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study on the Effectiveness of Directive and Nondirective Tutoring
Author:
Sugino, Nicole Emiko
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Writing academic papers continues to be a struggle for college students. Many universities provide tutoring services for a range of academic subjects including writing. Currently, there are few experimental studies to support the effectiveness of two frequently used tutoring methods: directive and nondirective tutoring. Based on existing knowledge about the acquisition of written language, this study aims to determine if directive (expert-directed) tutoring is more effective than nondirective (student-directed) tutoring in improving students' writing skills. In addition, this study sought to determine if changes in macrostructure and microstructure correlated to instructor assigned grades. Participants were recruited from undergraduate courses that included an initial paper and a revised final paper. Participants who chose 30-min of free tutoring were randomly assigned to one of the tutoring conditions: expert-directed (ED) or student-directed (SD). Participants who did not choose to receive tutoring were allocated to the control condition. There were 16 participants: ED group [n=7], SD group [n=7], and control group [n=2]. A descriptive analysis on measures of microstructure, paragraph structure, overall rating, and instructor assigned grades for the initial and final paper was conducted for 6 participants: ED group [n=2], SD group [n=2], and control group [n=2]. On measures of microstructure, the ED group decreased the average number of errors, the SD group maintained the same number of errors, and the control group increased the number of errors. Both the ED and SD tutoring groups decreased the average number of internal paragraph structure errors, while the control group maintained the same number of errors. All three groups received an increase in average overall rating; however, the control group received the smallest increase. All three groups received a comparable increase in average instructor assigned grade. The preliminary results suggest that tutoring is beneficial compared to no tutoring. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a relation between changes in the measures used in this study (microstructure, paragraph structure, overall rating) and instructor assigned grades. Further examination on whether directive tutoring is more effective than nondirective is required. The theories supporting directive tutoring (i.e. writing development, Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, learning theory) suggest that this method would be more effective than nondirective tutoring. In addition, research into the relation between grades and changes in macrostructure and microstructure is warranted.
Type:
text; Electronic Thesis
Keywords:
College Writing; Directive Tutoring; Nondirective Tutoring; Tutoring Effectiveness; Writing Tutoring; Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences; Adult Writing
Degree Name:
M.S.
Degree Level:
masters
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Alt, Mary

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleWriting Tutoring in Higher Education: An Exploratory Study on the Effectiveness of Directive and Nondirective Tutoringen_US
dc.creatorSugino, Nicole Emikoen
dc.contributor.authorSugino, Nicole Emikoen
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.abstractWriting academic papers continues to be a struggle for college students. Many universities provide tutoring services for a range of academic subjects including writing. Currently, there are few experimental studies to support the effectiveness of two frequently used tutoring methods: directive and nondirective tutoring. Based on existing knowledge about the acquisition of written language, this study aims to determine if directive (expert-directed) tutoring is more effective than nondirective (student-directed) tutoring in improving students' writing skills. In addition, this study sought to determine if changes in macrostructure and microstructure correlated to instructor assigned grades. Participants were recruited from undergraduate courses that included an initial paper and a revised final paper. Participants who chose 30-min of free tutoring were randomly assigned to one of the tutoring conditions: expert-directed (ED) or student-directed (SD). Participants who did not choose to receive tutoring were allocated to the control condition. There were 16 participants: ED group [n=7], SD group [n=7], and control group [n=2]. A descriptive analysis on measures of microstructure, paragraph structure, overall rating, and instructor assigned grades for the initial and final paper was conducted for 6 participants: ED group [n=2], SD group [n=2], and control group [n=2]. On measures of microstructure, the ED group decreased the average number of errors, the SD group maintained the same number of errors, and the control group increased the number of errors. Both the ED and SD tutoring groups decreased the average number of internal paragraph structure errors, while the control group maintained the same number of errors. All three groups received an increase in average overall rating; however, the control group received the smallest increase. All three groups received a comparable increase in average instructor assigned grade. The preliminary results suggest that tutoring is beneficial compared to no tutoring. Furthermore, there does not appear to be a relation between changes in the measures used in this study (microstructure, paragraph structure, overall rating) and instructor assigned grades. Further examination on whether directive tutoring is more effective than nondirective is required. The theories supporting directive tutoring (i.e. writing development, Vygotsky's zone of proximal development, learning theory) suggest that this method would be more effective than nondirective tutoring. In addition, research into the relation between grades and changes in macrostructure and microstructure is warranted.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Thesisen
dc.subjectCollege Writingen
dc.subjectDirective Tutoringen
dc.subjectNondirective Tutoringen
dc.subjectTutoring Effectivenessen
dc.subjectWriting Tutoringen
dc.subjectSpeech, Language, & Hearing Sciencesen
dc.subjectAdult Writingen
thesis.degree.nameM.S.en
thesis.degree.levelmastersen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineSpeech, Language, & Hearing Sciencesen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorAlt, Maryen
dc.contributor.committeememberPlante, Elenaen
dc.contributor.committeememberBeeson, Pelagieen
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