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Do Students’ Beliefs About Writing Relate to Their Writing Self-Efficacy, Apprehension, and Performance?. Joanne Sanders-Reio, Ph.D. Outline of This Presentation. Context of this research line Introduction to beliefs a bout w riting The current s tudy Related studies.

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slide1

Do Students’ Beliefs About Writing Relate to Their Writing Self-Efficacy, Apprehension, and Performance?

Joanne Sanders-Reio, Ph.D.

outline of this presentation
Outline of This Presentation
  • Context of this research line
  • Introduction to beliefs about writing
  • The current study
  • Related studies
context of this research line
Context of This Research Line

Testing instructional strategies I learned as a professional writer/editor and used as a corporate trainer

  • Did they really work?
  • Would expert writing/editing practices work in an academic setting?
beliefs about writing
Beliefs About Writing
  • Social cognitive theory has established the importance of beliefs, especially self-efficacy beliefs, which are
    • Related to performance in various domains
    • Inversely related to apprehension
  • Beliefs about writing reflect one’s views about
    • What good writing is
    • What good writers do
  • Distinct from writing self-efficacy beliefs
slide5

“The knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs that students hold about writing play an important part in determining how the composing process is carried out and what the eventual shape of the written product will be.” Graham et al. (1993, p. 246, emphasis added)

  • “Filters leading students to represent the task of…writing to themselves in a particular way” with the various models of writing created by these beliefs leading to ‘different engagement patterns.’” Mateos et al. (2010, p. 284)

This research line investigates the relation of beliefs about writing to

    • Writing performance
    • Writing self-efficacy and apprehension
beliefs about writing1
Beliefs About Writing
  • Palmquist & Young, 1992
    • Examined the belief that writing is an innate skill that some have and others lack
    • Undergraduates who believed in the innateness of writing skills were
      • More apprehensive about writing
      • Gave lower assessments of their own writing skills, abilities, and work
    • “The belief [in innateness] itself may contribute to the students’ apprehension about writing.” (p. 151)
slide8

Silva & Nicholls, 1993

    • Studied the beliefs underlying six traditions of teaching writing
      • 1) Personal involvement, 2) Writing for understanding, 3) Mechanical correctness, 4) Collaboration, 5) Cognitive strategies, 6) Models of good writing
    • Developed two genre-neutral scales
      • Characteristics of good writing espoused by each tradition
      • Writing strategies that emerged from each tradition
    • Second-order PCA of the resulting components yielded four emphases
      • Personal meaning and enjoyment of words
      • Recursive approach fostering understanding
      • Focus on audience and strategies
      • Surface correctness and form
    • Students beliefs reflected the pedagogy of their teachers, suggesting that these beliefs may be socially constructed
slide9

White & Bruning, 2005

    • Examined two independent beliefs adapted from Schraw & Bruning’s (1996, 1999) studies of beliefs about reading
    • Transmission
      • Writing is a means of reporting what authorities think
      • Writers stick to established information and arguments
    • Transaction
      • Writers should be emotionally and cognitively engaged
      • Writing helps one deepen one’s understanding of the concepts one writes about as well as one’s own views
    • Those with high Transmission beliefs received lower writing grades
    • Transmission not related to self-efficacy or apprehension
    • Transaction beliefs positively related to writing self-efficacy but not apprehension
slide10

Mateos et al., 2010

    • Studied White & Bruning’s (2005) Transmission and Transaction beliefs in conjunction with Schommer-Aikens’s/Perry’s (2004) epistemic beliefs
    • Transmission
      • Negatively related to academic achievement
      • Positively related to Simple Knowledge (knowledge is comprised of discrete facts, not complex, conceptual structures)
    • Transaction
      • Positively related to academic achievement
      • Negatively related to Simple Knowledge, Fixed Ability (intelligence is fixed, not malleable), and Quick Learning (learning occurs immediately or not at all)
    • Suggested that constellations of beliefs may work in tandem
two additional beliefs
Two Additional Beliefs

Audience Orientation

  • Research Literature
    • Silva & Nicholls (1993)
    • Those using deep as opposed to surface approaches have a stronger sense of audience (e.g., Lavelle, 1993)
    • Research emphasizing discourse communities (e.g.,Beach & Frederick, 2006)
    • Research from Writing and Rhetoric (e.g., Miller & Charney, 2008)
    • Kellogg’s Model of Writing Development (2010)
  • Practice Literature
    • Mindsets and procedures of professional writers and editors
    • Technical writing texts
slide12

Recursive Process

  • Research Literature
    • Silva & Nicholls (1993)
    • Process model of writing (Hayes & Flower, 1980)
  • Practice Literature
    • “Writing is rewriting.” (Murray, 1991, p. vii)
    • “Rewriting is the essence of writing.” (Zinsser, 1976, p. 4)
kellogg s model of writing development
Kellogg’s Model of Writing Development
  • Based on
    • Cognitive Load Theory
    • Expertise Theory
    • Bereiter & Scardamalia’s (1987) model of writing development
slide14

Bereiter & Scardamalia proposed a two-stage theory

    • Knowledge Tellers—Record what they know about a topic primarily as their ideas occur to theme
    • Knowledge Transformers—Are aware of the discrepancies between what they intended to write and what their text actually says. Revise to bridge those gaps. Refine their understandings and rethink their ideas as they work.
  • Kellogg added a third stage
    • Knowledge Crafters—Tailor their work to an audience that is richly represented in their minds.
slide15

Differences between the stages

    • Cognitive Load
      • The number of perspectives and representations writers at different stages maintain as they work
      • Demands on working memory and central executive functioning
      • Knowledge Tellers have one main perspective, their own. They have only a tenuous grasp of what their manuscript actually says
      • Knowledge Transformers consider two perspectives, their ideal text and their actual manuscript
      • Knowledge Crafters juggle three rich and stable representations of their work: their ideal paper, their actual text, and the text as they think their readers will understand it
    • Focus
      • Knowledge Tellers—Themselves
      • Knowledge Transformers—Text
      • Knowledge Crafters—Audience
slide16

Writers move from stage to stage only after many of their writing skills have become fluid and their ability to represent their text in its ideal and actual forms is well developed and stable.

  • It thus takes writers roughly 10 years to master each of the first two stages.
  • Only experts and those who write extensively reach Stage 3, normally not before adulthood and then in only a few genres.
  • Kellogg defined stages but did not see them as entirely discrete. Writers in Stage 1 may have some conception of their audience, but it would be sketchy and unstable.
beliefs about writing and kellogg s model
Beliefs About Writing and Kellogg’s Model
  • Stage 1. Knowledge Telling
    • Transmission
  • Stage 2. Knowledge Transforming
    • Transaction
    • Recursive Process
  • Stage 3. Knowledge Crafting
    • Audience Orientation
writing self efficacy
Writing Self-Efficacy
  • One’s beliefs about one’s own writing skills
  • Positively related to writing performance and negatively related to writing apprehension in more than 30 years of research with students ranging from 4th graders to undergraduates (e.g., Bruning, Graham, Schunk, Zimmerman)
    • Correlations between with writing performance have ranged from 0.03 (Pajares & Johnson, 1994) to 0.83 (Schunk & Swartz, 1993), clustering around 0.35.
  • The first generation of writing self-efficacy scales emphasized mechanical writing skills (e.g., Meier et al., 1984)
  • The second generation of measures also addressed substantive writing skills (e.g., Pajares & Valiante, 1999) and writing self-regulation (Zimmerman & Bandura, 1994)
writing apprehension
Writing Apprehension
  • Traditionally defined as fear and avoidance of having one’s written worked evaluated (Daly & Miller, 1975)
  • This traditional measure does not include a possible additional source of writing apprehension—anxiety about making mechanical errors (Smith et al., 2006)
  • Negatively related to writing performance
    • Correlations between writing apprehension and writing performance have ranged from -0.28 (Meier et al, 1984) to -0.57 (Pajares & Johnson, 1994)
  • Negatively related to writing self-efficacy
    • In the Pajares group’s path analyses, writing self-efficacy reduced and even nullified writing apprehension (e.g., Pajares & Valiante, 1997)
slide20
Purpose of the Study

Research Questions and Hypotheses

purpose of the study
Purpose of the Study
  • Augment White & Bruning’s (2005) work with Transmission and Transaction by adding two additional beliefs about writing, Audience Orientation and Recursive Process
  • Combine and expand existing measures of Writing Self-Efficacy to include self-efficacy for both substantive and mechanical writing skills as well as writing self-regulation
  • Expand Daly & Miller’s (1975) measure to include apprehension about making mechanical errors
1 what are the relations among beliefs about writing self efficacy apprehension and performance
1. What are the relations among beliefs about writing, self-efficacy, apprehension, and performance?

Hypothesized that…

  • Transaction, Recursive Process, and Audience Orientation would relate significantly and positively to self-efficacy and performance, and negatively to apprehension
  • Transmission would relate significantly and negatively to performance and self-efficacy, and positively to apprehension
  • All three types of writing self-efficacy would significantly and positively relate to performance, and negatively to apprehension
  • All three types of writing apprehension would significantly and negatively relate to performance
slide23
2. What are the unique contributions of beliefs about writing, self-efficacy, and apprehension to performance?

Hypothesized that…

  • Transaction, Recursive Process, and Audience Orientation would significantly and positively predict performance
  • Transmission would significantly and negatively predict performance
  • All three types of writing self-efficacy would significantly and positively predict performance
  • All three types of writing apprehension would significantly and negatively predict performance
  • The beliefs about writing would explain variance in performance above and beyond that accounted for by self-efficacy and apprehension
participants
Participants
  • 738 undergraduates at a large, research-intensive, Hispanic-serving public university south Florida
  • 86% women
  • 68% Hispanic, 16% white, 11% black, 2% Asian
  • Mostly juniors (68%) and seniors (24%)
  • Family background
    • 88% of their fathers and 91% of their mothers had graduated from high school
    • 32% of their fathers and 32% had graduated from college
    • 14% of their fathers and 13% of their mothers held an advanced degree
  • First language—37% Spanish, 31% English, 3% other, 28% raised bilingually
measures
Measures

Beliefs About Writing Survey (Sanders-Reio, 2010)

Subscales

  • Transmission, α = .65
    • The most important reason to write is to report what authorities think about a subject.
  • Transaction, α = .78
    • Writing helps me understand what I’m thinking about.
  • Recursive Process, α = .72
    • Writing is a process of reviewing, revisioning, and rethinking.
  • Audience Orientation, α = .85
    • Development, Clarity, Organization, Argumentation, Logic, Ability to read an audience
    • Good writers anticipate and answer their audience’s questions.
slide27

Writing Self-Efficacy Index (Sanders-Reio, 2010)

  • Based on Zimmerman and Bandura’s (1994) Writing Self-Regulatory Efficacy Scale of 25 items
  • Added questions addressing substantive and mechanical writing issues
  • Participants indicated their self-efficacy by making a hash mark on a 10-mm line marked 1 to 100
  • Subscales
    • Substantive, α = .98
      • Development, Argumentation, Organization, Ability to meet the needs of the audience
      • I can logically make the points I want to convey.
    • Self-Regulatory, α = .94
      • Getting started, Keeping oneself going, Being able to get help
      • I can start writing with no difficulty.
    • Mechanical, α = .95
      • Grammar, Spelling
      • I can correctly punctuate the papers I write.
slide28

Modified Writing Apprehension Test (Daly & Miller, 1975, Sanders-Reio, 2010)

  • Assesses polar aspects of a single factor, fear and avoidance of having one’s work evaluated as opposed to enjoyment of sharing one’s written work with others
  • 5-point Likert scale
  • Subscales
    • Dislike Writing , α = .92
      • I expect to do poorly in composition classes even before I enter them.
    • Enjoy Writing , α = .92
      • I like seeing my thoughts on paper.
    • Apprehension About Grammar, α = .87
      • I’m afraid that I may make a punctuation error.
slide29

Writing Performance

  • Students’ grades on a 5- to 8-page, structured, take-home assignment, an analysis of a video about three preschools in light of learning theory
  • As compared to the usual measure in much research and many high-stakes tests (a single sample written in 20 to 30 minutes in response to a prompt)
    • More authentic
    • Emphasizes skill over speed
    • Reduces discrimination against students unfamiliar with the topic
    • Allows students to use a full complement of writing strategies, including revision
    • More in line with the recommendations of writing researchers (e.g., Murphy & Yancey, 2008) and the National Council of Teachers of English (2008)
examination of the measures
Examination of the Measures

Beliefs About Writing Survey

  • Exploratory Factor Analysis
    • Divided the data set into two subsets of equal size (ns = 369)
    • Employed EFA on the first subset to investigate the factor structure and reduce the number of items
    • Used principal-axis factoring and promax rotation because of the hypothesized underlying theoretical structure and our expectation that the factors would correlate
    • The EFA revealed four factors explaining 43% of the variance
      • Audience Orientation
      • Recursive Process
      • Transaction
      • Transmission
    • The items forming Transmission and Transaction were not identical to those used by White and Bruning (2005)
    • Factor intercorrelations ranged from -.10 to .54
slide31

Confirmatory Factor Analysis

    • Arranged the 31 items identified in the EFA in four empirically identified factors
    • Overall, the goodness-of-fit indicators revealed that the CFA model had an acceptable fit to the data
    • The χ2 analysis suggested that the data did not fit the model adequately; yet, χ2 tests have been shown to be especially sensitive to larger sample sizes
    • However, the following indicators indicated an acceptable fit between the data and the model, and thus factorial validity
      • χ2/df ratio, 2.31
      • Root mean square error of approximation, .059
      • Comparative fit index, .91
      • Adjusted good-of-fit index, .90
slide32

Writing Self-Efficacy Index

  • Three components according to both the scree plot and the Kaiser criterion
  • Explained 63% of the variance
    • Substantive
    • Self-Regulatory
    • Mechanical

Modified Writing Apprehension Test

  • The three new items formed a new component, Apprehension About Grammar, for a total of three, as indicated by both the scree plot and the Kaiser criterion
  • Explained 56% of the variance
    • Dislike Writing
    • Enjoy Writing
    • Apprehension About Grammar
protocol
Protocol
  • Participants completed the surveys in 20 to 40 minutes of class time with respect to the writing they do at the university.
  • They took the surveys after they understood the writing assignment, but before they could begin working on it, as Bandura recommended (Pajares, 1997)
  • Students received extra credit for participating. No one refused the opportunity.
slide35

Grades

  • All participants uploaded their papers to Turnitin.com to check for plagiarism
  • Two professors, one the actual instructor and another who has taught the course, assigned grades from A to F, including pluses and minuses.
    • The College of Education requires the students to earn at least a C to pass the course. Those who fall short can rewrite.
    • Students had to demonstrate basic competence with respect to the course content and both substantive and mechanical writing skills to pass
    • Interrater agreement between the graders, .93, was calculated via correlational analysis
  • Grades
    • Mean = 8.1 (B-)
    • 30% received an A or A-, 29% earned less than the C required.
  • Correlation between the students’ grade and the grade they predicted they would receive (survey): 0.13
slide37

Correlation of Beliefs About Writing, Self-Efficacy, and Apprehension with Performance

Grade

Beliefs About Writing

Transmission -.20***

Transaction .01

Recursive Process .12**

Audience Orientation .18***

Writing Self-Efficacy

Substantive .18***

Self-Regulatory .15***

Mechanical .23***

Writing Apprehension

Dislike Writing -.17***

Enjoy Writing .11**

Apprehension About Grammar -.26***

Note. N = 738. *p < .05; **p < .01; *** p < .001.

correlations
Correlations
  • Most Adaptive Belief: Audience Orientation--strongest positive relations with writing grade and writing self-efficacy
  • Belief Most Related to Enjoy Writing: Transaction—Also strongest positive correlate of writing self-efficacy. Did not relate to writing grades.
  • Most Maladaptive Belief: Transmission--negatively related to writing grades and writing self-efficacy. Positively related to Apprehension About Grammar.
  • Correlations between writing self-efficacy and grades were within the range reported in previous research, but somewhat lower than the norm.
  • Apprehension About Grammar had a stronger negative relation to grades than the traditional Dislike Writing.
slide39

Simultaneous regressions

  • Transaction, Recursive Process, and Audience Orientation would positively predict self-efficacy and performance, and negatively predict apprehension—Partially supported, Recursive Process not significant
  • Transmission would negatively predict performance and self-efficacy, and positively predict apprehension—Supported, only belief related to Apprehension About Grammar
  • All three types of writing self-efficacy would positively predict performance, and negatively predict apprehension—Partially supported, only Mechanical Self-Efficacy related to grades and Apprehension About Grammar
  • All three types of writing apprehension would negatively predict performance—Only Apprehension About Grammar was significant
slide40
Testing the Hypotheses2. What are the unique contributions of beliefs about writing, self-efficacy, and apprehension to performance?
slide41

Summary Hierarchical Regression Analysis Predicting Writing Performance from Beliefs About Writing, Self-Efficacy, and Apprehension

Writing Grade

βΔR2

Step 1. Beliefs About Writing .08***

Transmission -.15***

Transaction -.11**

Recursive Process .07*

Audience Orientation .19***

Step 2. Writing Self-Efficacy .03***

Substantive .04

Self-Regulatory -.02

Mechanical .09*

Step 3. Writing Apprehension .03***

Dislike Writing .01

Enjoy Writing .02

Apprehension About Grammar -.19***

Total R2 .15***

Note. N = 738. *p < .05; **p < .01; *** p < .001.

slide42

Hierarchical Regression

  • Transaction, Recursive Process, and Audience Orientation would significantly and positively predict performance—Audience Orientation the most powerful and adaptive belief, Recursive Process a positive predictor, Transaction a negative predictor here
  • Transmission would significantly and negatively predict performance--Supported
  • All three types of writing self-efficacy would significantly and positively predict performance—Mechanical Self-Efficacy the only significant predictor
  • All three types of writing apprehension would significantly and negatively predict performance—Apprehension About Grammar a strong negative predictor above and beyond all of the beliefs
  • The beliefs about writing would explain variance in performance above and beyond that accounted for by self-efficacy and apprehension--Supported
hierarchical regression
Hierarchical Regression
  • The model explained 15% of the variance in writing grades
  • Beliefs about writing explained 8.4% of the variance
  • Each of the four beliefs about writing independently and significantly predicted writing performance.
    • Audience Orientation was the most powerful predictor
    • Audience Orientation and Recursive Process were positive predictors
    • Transmission and Transaction were negative predictors
  • Self-efficacy for Mechanical writing skills was the only significant predictor (positive)
  • Apprehension About Grammar explained variance above and beyond the effects of both beliefs about writing and writing self-efficacy.
beliefs about writing2
Beliefs About Writing
  • Beliefs about writing related to writing self-efficacy, apprehension, and performance
  • Predicted unique variance in writing grades
  • Correlations between beliefs about writing and performance were modest, but meaningful
    • Adhering to a belief does not ensure the skill or will to act on that belief.
slide46

Audience Orientation

    • The most powerful and adaptive belief
    • Related to expert practice
    • Aligned with classic characteristics of good writing—Development, Clarity, Organization, Argumentation
  • Recursive Process
    • A positive predictor
    • Hypothesize that this belief will be more adaptive with longer assignments held to higher standards, such as dissertations and articles written for publication
slide47

Transaction

    • A negative predictor here
    • Strong correlate of Enjoy Writing and writing self-efficacy. Enjoyment may be able to keep writers working when extra effort is required
    • Hypothesize that this belief, too, will be more adaptive with longer assignments held to higher standards
  • Transmission
    • Maladaptive
    • Negatively related to self-efficacy and positively related to apprehension, particularly Apprehension About Grammar
    • Can foster a mechanical and/or self-protective approach to writing entailing stringing quotes, plugging new text in set formats, and couching established arguments in new words
writing self efficacy1
Writing Self-Efficacy
  • Associated with stronger writing performance and lower writing self-efficacy
  • A more modest predictor than in other studies, but within the range of previous work
writing apprehension1
Writing Apprehension
  • Associated with lower writing grades
  • Apprehension About Grammar accounted for unique variance
implications
Implications

Theoretical

  • Supports Bandura’s (1997) views about the importance of beliefs
  • Possibility that constellations of beliefs affect performance in tandem

Practical

  • Supports the possibility that beliefs about writing could be a worthwhile leverage point in teaching students to write
    • Fewer assignments with more revision cycles
    • Fostering a sense of audience
    • Making sure strategies like using quotes do not deteriorate into mechanical cutting and pasting
    • New methods of teaching grammar and correctness that minimize counterproductive anxiety
future studies
Future Studies
  • Studies of expert writing practice
  • Related refinement of Kellogg’s model
  • Instruments
    • Conducting an EFA/CFA of the writing self-efficacy measure
    • Adding items to the Apprehension About Grammar subscale of the Modified Writing Apprehension Test
    • Refining the Beliefs scale
      • Items
      • Additional beliefs
  • Investigations of the mechanisms through which beliefs about writing
    • Affective (apprehension)
    • Cognitive (choice of writing strategies and processes)
  • Research with other types of participants, writing assignments, and contexts
  • Experimental and intervention studies
  • Investigation of the beliefs related to other activities and disciplines