The effect of journal writing on the reading comprehension and the metacognitive awareness of college students

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Biggs, Margaret M.
Ransom, Peggy E.
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Thesis (D. Ed.)
Department of Elementary Education
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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of dialogue journal writing, journal writing without dialogue, and regular classroom instruction on the reading comprehension of college students enrolled in a developmental reading class. Also, the effect of the journal writing on the college students' metacognitive awareness of reading strategies was investigated.The subjects were 77 freshman college students enrolled in six credit/no credit developmental reading classes at a mid-size midwestern university. Two of the classes wrote dialogue journals in which the teacher responded in writing to what the students wrote. The second two classes wrote in journals but received no written feedback. The last two classes received regular class instruction with no journal writing.The Nelson-Denny Reading Test was used as the post test. The results of a three-way analysis of variance with nesting indicated that there was no difference in the reading comprehension scores among the journal writing only, the dialogue journal writing, and the control groups. The results also indicated that there was no difference between the reading comprehension scores of males and females.A second three-way analysis of variance with nesting was conducted using the students' mean responses on the Wingenbach Reading Strategies Questionnaire. The results indicated that there was no significant differences within the classes in each treatment or between the males and females in the three treatment groups.The control group did score greater when contrasted with the two treatment groups on the questionnaire. The dialogue journal group also scored greater than the journal writing only group.The results of this study indicated that journal writing with or without dialogue did not affect the reading comprehension scores of the students in this study. Another finding of this study, suggested that teacher interaction either through additional class time or written dialogue can result in greater metcognitive awareness of reading strategies.