Dr. Andrew Lingwall, an associate professor of communication at Clarion University, was joined by Jackie Mayers and Jennifer Hemenger, who are members of Clarion's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), for a research roundtable discussion on student writing proficiency at the Public Relations Society of America's (PRSA) International Conference October 16 in Washington D.C.
At the conference, Lingwall presented a research paper entitled, "Analyzing Student Writing Proficiency and Assessment Measures in Programs of Mass Communication."
At the conference, Lingwall announced the results of recent survey research designed to explore respondents' perceptions of the writing proficiency of students entering programs of mass communication, and measures used to assess and improve student writing.
Mayers is a senior communication major and the 2010-11 president of Clarion's PRSSA chapter. Hemenger is a junior communication major and the 2010-11 PR chair for Clarion's PRSSA chapter.
"Having Jennifer and Jackie at this session added a real-life dimension to it all," Lingwall said. "Often, the sessions are a bit dry, but these two students made the whole discussion more interesting by sharing their own experiences and ideas from the student perspective."
In his study, Lingwall found that regardless of institutional attributes, faculty members are dealing with many new students who are only moderately proficient in writing. The study also established that among respondents, there is no clear pattern of measures used or in the degree of success achieved with those measures. Results indicate that program planners must now begin doing more to meet students where they are, and then implement meaningful assessment and improvement measures that work for their own institutions.
In August, Lingwall's paper was accepted for publication in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, a peer-reviewed, scholarly journal published by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).
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