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Effects of a process writing curriculum on students in an agricultural communications course: An experimental study

Kelemen, Danna Ryan
Scope and Method of Study: This study sought to examine if the use of a process writing model curriculum improved the writing performance of students in an agricultural-context communication course. The scope of this study was confined to students enrolled in a course section of AGCM 3103 during the 2005 fall semester at Oklahoma State University. The method of research was an experimental study using a post-test only control group design.
Findings and Conclusions: The findings of this study indicated the majority of students enrolled in the AGCM 3103 course were male, 21 years of age, and exhibited no difference in their writing ability. The process writing model curriculum was shown to have a statistically significant effect on the students' overall grade in the course, as well as on the two post-test writing assignment measures. There was little difference in the perceptions of students in the treatment and control groups, either before or after the introduction of the process writing curriculum. Students' perceptions of writing were varied, but generally believed the course had improved their writing skills. Students' perceived methodology and instructor style were important. Additionally, students generally believed writing was a process and a life skill necessary for a professional career. Conclusions drawn from this study indicated a process writing model curriculum did result in a significant increase in student writing performance. Students' perceptions on writing were varied based on a number of variables, while students' attitudes were moderate to positive about the course and the benefits afforded them. Students indicated methodology and instructor style had a direct effect on how much they learned in the course, and students stated they preferred a writing course that would help prepare them for the future. Students' opinions were mixed on the type of skills needed to be a good writer, but did agree proficient writing skills, at a minimum, were important for college graduates and a needed ability in life.