Dr. Andrew Lingwall, associate professor in Clarion University Department of Communication, presented a research paper and poster on student writing skills of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education students at the Public Relations Society of America’s International Conference Oct. 13 in San Francisco.
The research paper, “Measuring Student Self-Perceptions of Writing Skills in Programs of Journalism and Mass Communication,” summarized the results of survey research conducted this fall by Lingwall and fellow communication professor Dr. Scott Kuehn.
Their study explored student self-perceptions of writing skills in journalism and mass communication programs at eight PASSHE universities. Factor analysis revealed that the 397 students surveyed fell into five distinct groups:
1. Skilled writers with high self-efficacy and low apprehension.
2. Unskilled writers with low self- efficacy and high apprehension.
3. Heavy social media users who minimize the value of writing.
4. Methodical planners and executors who use writing as a set of tools.
5. Unskilled and unconcerned writers.
The study addresses instructional implications for faculty members teaching in journalism and mass communication programs at Clarion, other PASSHE universities and comparable institutions across the United States. The results should benefit instructors, helping them devise more effective instruction and prepare students for employment in the media professions, where writing skills are a prerequisite for career success.
Clarion University is the high-achieving, nationally recognized, comprehensive university that delivers a personal and challenging academic experience.