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The Impact of Writing Assignments on Student Learning: Should Writing Assignments Be Structured or Unstructured?

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Author Info

  • Linda Dynan

    ()
    (Northern Kentucky University)

  • Tom Cate

    (Northern Kentucky University)

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    Abstract

    This action research project investigates whether writing assignments are associated with improved student performance in terms of lower-order learning and higher-order learning as defined in Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. The impact of explicitly structuring the learning environment on student performance is examined. We find that structured writing positively impacts students' performance on lower-order (knowledge and comprehension) assessments. However our findings suggest that structure only weakly enhances the performance of students on higher-order skills assessments. Accordingly, we recommend that structured writing assignments, particularly those designed to develop higher-order learning objectives, be introduced earlier into the economics and business curricula.

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    File URL: http://economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree/v8n1/dynan.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Economics Network, University of Bristol in its journal International Review of Economics Education.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 64-86

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    Handle: RePEc:che:ireepp:v:8:y:2009:i:1:p:64-86

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    Postal: University of Bristol, BS8 1HH, United Kingdom
    Fax: +44(0)117 331 4396
    Web page: http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree

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    1. Steven A. Greenlaw, 2003. "Using Writing to Enhance Student Learning in Undergraduate Economics," International Review of Economic Education, Economics Network, University of Bristol, vol. 1(1), pages 61-70.
    2. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
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