How to report instructional interventions in writing research?
Guest editors: Fien De Smedt (Ghent University | Belgium) & Renske Bouwer (University of Antwerp | Belgium)
To improve students’ writing skills, instructional programs should consider both the focus of instruction (i.e., what is taught) and the mode of instruction (i.e., how it is taught). In research on effective writing instruction, numerous meta-analyses have already identified several effective writing interventions (e.g., Graham & Perin, 2007; Koster, Tribushinina, de Jong, & van den Bergh, 2015). However, these interventions are often described rather broadly and therefore it is difficult to gain insight into the crucial ingredients determining the effectiveness of an intervention (Graham & Harris, 2014; Rijlaarsdam, Janssen, Rietdijk, & Van Weijen, 2016).
Getting grip on the content of evidence-based writing programs is important in two ways. First, in light of replication, instructional writing researchers need to know how to operationalize the focus and mode of instruction. Second, in light of dissemination and implementation in educational writing practice, evidence based writing practices should be clearly translated into teaching and learning activities.
To move the field of research on writing instruction forward, it is of high importance that writing interventions are reported in a more systematic way, by establishing a set of principles to report interventions in writing research. For instance, Rijlaarsdam et al. (2016) designed a reporting system in which researchers are asked to identify and specify:
(a) design principles,
(b) learning activities, and
(c) instructional activities underlying the learning activities.
In this way, the transparency of the independent variable in writing intervention studies is improved, which facilitates the communication, comparison, and replication of writing interventions.
The aim of this special issue is to establish a blueprint on how to report writing intervention studies in research papers. We invite a broad range of intervention studies aimed at learning to write to provide an analytic description of how didactical principles are operationalized into an instructional writing program. We are specifically interested in intervention studies from different countries, including different didactical practices (e.g., strategy instruction, peer interaction, genre instruction, observational learning), different types of students (e.g., struggling writers, regular writers, L1/L2 learners), and different contexts (e.g., primary or secondary grades, academic writing, professional writing).
First draft due: October 1, 2017
Review of the manuscripts: February 1, 2018
Introduction to the special issue + revised papers: June 1, 2018
Final review: September 1, 2018
Publication: October, 2018
For more information, contact the guest editors: Fien De Smedt or Renske Bouwer.
The Journal of Writing research is an open access journal.
You can download the articles from the JOWR-website.