WAC Research at Fresno State

Early Start Program Assessment

This on-going research investigates how effective the Early Start English program is at Fresno State (started in the summer of 2012). What are students learning in this 1-unit, 3 week, summer course? The data gathered consists of final portfolio ratings along the program's outcomes and student survey responses. Eventually, the project will follow ES students through their other college courses, considering how helpful the ES program has been for their college experience overall. The first report for summer 2012 is available. 

Hmong Experiences in Reading and Writing

This on-going project investigates the reading and writing experiences of Hmong students on campus. In Spring 2012, 265 Hmong students (of 3,220 contacted) completed a survey that helps us know who they are and what they've experienced in courses that ask them to read and write. In the future, interviews and other data will be analyzed to help understand the unique challenges that Hmong students face in their reading and writing at Fresno State. 

MyWriting Lab Student Focus Group

This project inquires into how well each writing-related product in the MyWriting Lab program works for students in a simulated, classroom writing activity, and how students feel about their use of each product. The Results of the focus group survey showed that most students found the WriteClick program and the online tutoring services (with an electronic response to their writing from a tutor online) most useful. Contact: Asao B. Inoue.

Assignment Prompts: What Do Students Want?

The way you write your assignment prompts affects the seriousness with which students take your assignments, and their perceptions of your standards, how approachable you are, and how much you care about their success. Students also draw from prompts conclusions about the personalities of their instructors, judging them as, for example, “condescending,” “supportive” or “lazy.” The findings of this project can help instructors make informed decisions about what to include in prompts, and predict some likely student reactions to those choices. Overall, this report illustrates that although there is no "silver bullet" to crafting effective prompts for all students, it does pay to rethink the language and structure of your prompts. The full report provides more details about the study. Contact: Hank Delcore.

Enhanced Writing Instruction (EWI) Pilot

Conducted in the Spring 2012, this pilot study attempted to see whether an additional writing instructor, who would respond to student writing (on the first writing assignment only) in a large-enrolled course, would help students do better on their writing and in the class. The course instructor did not submit pre and post individual writing assignment grades, only final course grades, so the pilot cannot determine how well student writing was helped. Looking just at course grades (seen in these graphics), it does appear that some benefit was seen in EWI students.