Writing Workshops as a Part of an Information Systems Course Experience to Improve Writing Quality: An Analysis of Student Writing Performance
Jason Ferguson Bellevue University
Abstract Effective writing skills are important for student success in the classroom and necessary for their future success. Inadequate writing skills that are unaddressed throughout a student’s initial course experience can cause stress and discouragement. Undeveloped writing skills can also burden course professors with the need to teach writing skills in addition to the course content. Despite the many great writing resources available to students the writing difficulties remain a significant issue. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether integrating a series of writing workshops as part of the graduate student’s first semester course experience improves their writing performance. The writing workshop series focused on the following topics: A. Understand how to meet the expectations of academic writing, B. Understanding the assignment and research requirements, C. The writing process, from generating ideas to drafting and revising, D. Conventions of documentation to avoid plagiarism, E. Improved grammar usage, and F. Writing and research resources available for on-going improvement.
The initial study was conducted in a first semester information systems (IS) course with the following topics covered: Information technology (IT) infrastructure concepts, models, architectures, standards, and security. There were two class sections of the IS course used in this research, both of which completed the same sets of assignments. Two faculty members were invited to review artifacts of the student assignments and score them using an analytic rubric. The analytic rubric design included the dimensions examined such as organization and content, convention and mechanics, sources of evidence, and relevancy. The analytic rubric also incorporated performance criteria (Likert scale 1=Introduction Level, 2=Developing Level, 3=Mature level, 4=Master) and performance descriptors that describe what the specified criteria looks like for each level of performance.
Students were in two different sections of the class taught by two different faculty members. Group 1 received a series of writing workshops throughout the semester as an integrated part of their course experience. Group 2 did not have any writing workshops integrated throughout the semester as part of their course experience. Initial data analysis is currently being performed and will be discussed at the conference.
Recommended Citation: Ferguson, J., (2017). Writing Workshops as a Part of an Information Systems Course Experience to Improve Writing Quality: An Analysis of Student Writing Performance. Proceedings of the EDSIG Conference, (2017) n.4467, Austin, Texas