Composing Comments for Online Students : A Study of Faculty Feedback on Writing in Multidisciplinary Contexts
Neuteboom, Robert Kimball
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Composing Comments for Online Students: A Study of Faculty Feedback on Writing in Multidisciplinary Contexts (1.140Mb)
In this dissertation, I present findings from a qualitative research project designed to articulate practitioner-teachers’ beliefs about writing and their role in providing feedback on student writing in online courses. To analyze the qualities of these beliefs, I interviewed eight full-time and part-time teachers from multiple disciplines teaching at the same private career-based college. Participants primarily defined writing as grammar and described their feedback intervention as dependent on tools, such as rubrics and web-based grammar software, to ensure students write professionally. Professionalism was a significant concern for participants, many of whom considered preserving the integrity of their discipline and preparing students for its effective deployment as their most important role as teachers. With this goal at the forefront of their efforts, participants generally apply writing as a tool for and sign of professionalism. My findings suggest that participants see professionalism relative to writing as work ethic, formality, practicality, and arrival. These categories characterize what participants prioritize in terms of providing feedback. A limitation of this study is that the participant pool was relatively small and participants all taught at the same institution, with specific standardization requirements influencing how participants perceive the writing task. That said, because the study is so intensely focused, its results may be relevant and generalizable to the perceptions of practitioner-teachers at many institutions.