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PEER WRITING TUTORS HELP INTERNATIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDENTS TO STAKE THEIR CLAIM

Nicholas, Kimberly LU ; Brady, Abigail and Rylander, Ladaea LU (2017) p.33-60
Abstract
Writing well is central to academic success, but writing skills are not always taught
explicitly. This is especially problematic in international, interdisciplinary
programs where such skills help students from diverse backgrounds to develop a
shared vocabulary of writing and tools to decode their new academic context.
We tackled this issue by hiring and training peer writing tutors to encourage new
students to learn writing skills (motivational scaffolding) and to help them
understand how to improve their writing (cognitive scaffolding). Our student
learning outcomes focused on making and supporting a main claim properly
supported by evidence. We assessed student learning through analysis of their
essay... (More)
Writing well is central to academic success, but writing skills are not always taught
explicitly. This is especially problematic in international, interdisciplinary
programs where such skills help students from diverse backgrounds to develop a
shared vocabulary of writing and tools to decode their new academic context.
We tackled this issue by hiring and training peer writing tutors to encourage new
students to learn writing skills (motivational scaffolding) and to help them
understand how to improve their writing (cognitive scaffolding). Our student
learning outcomes focused on making and supporting a main claim properly
supported by evidence. We assessed student learning through analysis of their
essay text and reflection papers, as well as surveys sent to both students and tutors.
We found that peer writing tutors helped to motivate students to understand why
and how to make claims in academic writing. Focusing on citing sources as
evidence for claims revealed that nearly a third of the class had not fully
understood appropriate citation despite previous training, leading to plagiarism
warnings, which required ongoing exercises and discussion to address. Tutors benefitted from participating in terms of improving their writing and honing
teaching skills.
We conclude that peer tutoring is an effective strategy to help both students and
tutors across disciplines, nationalities, and writing experience levels to become
better and more reflective writers through reinforced motivation and scaffolded
skill-building, and that collaboration across traditional departments and roles in
the university linking teaching staff, support staff, and students was an effective
and enjoyable way to promote interdisciplinary learning. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
host publication
Diversity in Education: Crossing cultural, disciplinary and professional divides
editor
Tojo, Naoko ; Kiss, Bernadette ; and
pages
33 - 60
publisher
Lund University
ISBN
978-91-87357-20-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
94e2fef1-7806-4aeb-b88a-6ee2b4ca2b55
alternative location
https://www.iiiee.lu.se/sites/iiiee.lu.se/files/web_version_diversity_in_education_e5_media.pdf
date added to LUP
2019-07-01 01:20:23
date last changed
2019-07-01 09:24:59
@inbook{94e2fef1-7806-4aeb-b88a-6ee2b4ca2b55,
  abstract     = {Writing well is central to academic success, but writing skills are not always taught<br/>explicitly. This is especially problematic in international, interdisciplinary<br/>programs where such skills help students from diverse backgrounds to develop a<br/>shared vocabulary of writing and tools to decode their new academic context.<br/>We tackled this issue by hiring and training peer writing tutors to encourage new<br/>students to learn writing skills (motivational scaffolding) and to help them<br/>understand how to improve their writing (cognitive scaffolding). Our student<br/>learning outcomes focused on making and supporting a main claim properly<br/>supported by evidence. We assessed student learning through analysis of their<br/>essay text and reflection papers, as well as surveys sent to both students and tutors.<br/>We found that peer writing tutors helped to motivate students to understand why<br/>and how to make claims in academic writing. Focusing on citing sources as<br/>evidence for claims revealed that nearly a third of the class had not fully<br/>understood appropriate citation despite previous training, leading to plagiarism<br/>warnings, which required ongoing exercises and discussion to address. Tutors benefitted from participating in terms of improving their writing and honing<br/>teaching skills.<br/>We conclude that peer tutoring is an effective strategy to help both students and<br/>tutors across disciplines, nationalities, and writing experience levels to become<br/>better and more reflective writers through reinforced motivation and scaffolded<br/>skill-building, and that collaboration across traditional departments and roles in<br/>the university linking teaching staff, support staff, and students was an effective<br/>and enjoyable way to promote interdisciplinary learning. },
  author       = {Nicholas, Kimberly and Brady, Abigail and Rylander, Ladaea},
  booktitle    = {Diversity in Education: Crossing cultural, disciplinary and professional divides},
  editor       = {Tojo, Naoko and Kiss, Bernadette},
  isbn         = {978-91-87357-20-6 },
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {33--60},
  publisher    = {Lund University},
  title        = {PEER WRITING TUTORS HELP INTERNATIONAL, INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDENTS TO STAKE THEIR CLAIM},
  url          = {https://www.iiiee.lu.se/sites/iiiee.lu.se/files/web_version_diversity_in_education_e5_media.pdf},
  year         = {2017},
}