Lindsay Sabatino
Online Writing Centers:
Purpose: ways that student writing changes in response to OWLs

Focus on how to give feedback (Summers)

Weaver (2006) students value feedback but don’t know what to do with it
Chaudron (1984) “revision process must be learned” (11)

Research in composition and OWL scholarship, the online writing center is another way that students receive feedback…
Synchronous online response, so they receive response at the moment.

How do the students respond to feedback while they are online with OWL?

Helped put together OWL at IUP… using Google Docs and other software

Decided to conduct a pilot study of IUPs OWL
Qualitative grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss 1967)
Collected a screen recording of the session through saving the student’s paper in Google Docs and a copy of the written chat session
Applied conversation analysis to see how the interaction worked
Bottom up and data driven analysis, see the development of writing in action

One student (f., self identifies as Korean multiple times) and a tutor
Did not change the misspellings or make any alterations, except to remove identifying information

Clarity of expression 8
Verb tense 12
Articles (a, an, the) 2
Prepositions 5

K in chat: Because I’m Korean ESL student, Im not sure abuout grammar or akward words please check it ☺

T in chat: I will insert some comments onto the document itself, but we will still talk using this chat.

sentence discussed: That is, they bought a degree by their money, and some poor Korea universities just need money.
Tutor explains that “by” shouldn’t be the right choice.

As the session continues,
K in chat: Umm, I have a question.. I said, buy a degree by their money becasue I think I saw the definition of buy in the dictionary such as, I …

I means, I saw a definition of buy in the dictionary and I thought it meant achieving something

T in chat: yes, that is correct, however it has to fit the sentence grammatically
K in chat: Oh, cristal clear!

K sentences: I’ll show my picture with my friends in front of Congress by this attached file.

K in chat: I really wonder Congress by this attached file?
T in chat: you could say “in attached file”
K in chat: This sentence should be “with attached file” or “by using attatced file” as you taught me?
T: The picture is “in” the file, so…

Kim’s reflection and development of her writing
4 reflections
2 are in conversation with the tutor
2 are outside the conversation, but are about her writing

1st Because I’m Korean ESL student, Im not sure abuout grammar or akward words please check it ☺
2nd Korean students are vulnerable to an article because we have no article in first language. I gurantee there are numerous similar mistake in my diary.
3rd (tutor asks if there is another place in the sentence where it should be past tense)
I also think it should be past tense.
My most frequent mistake is an article, a proposition, and verb tense.
She moves from grammar and awkward phrases and moves to very specific problems she has with her writing.
4th reflection on difference between OWL and f2f, how f2f is faster…

Kim did know she was part of a pilot study before this chat. It may have been that she was responding to that.

Benefits of OWL:
Allows students to develop an understanding of their own writing practices
Allows students to practice their writing through the chat and articulating their processes
Provides students with a hard copy that functions as a guide as they continue to write and it will aid them in the composition course and in other writing.

Have you looked at non-ESL students?
Only experience now is my tutoring experience. I am having trouble getting students to agree to being part of a pilot study. Still processing it because you can’t see facial expressions.

Do you have asynchronous?
No. We chose against that. We wanted online to have the same benefits as f2f. The importance of dialogue was a priority.
We looked at 7 different programs. We had criteria.
Students do note that they would like asynchronous, but we tell them they would have to engage.

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