Associate Professor Penelope Collins has received a 2019 UCI Early Research Initiative (ERI) Award to pursue study of infographics and undergraduate writing development. UCI's ERI mini-grants support initial research intended to lead to follow-up grants pursuing the same or similar research agenda. ERI grants are targeted toward projects that facilitate collaborations among faculty, staff, and students in disciplines across the campus or at other institutions, with proposed research that focuses on diversity, increasing equity, and improving student learning in introductory or gatekeeper courses. PhD students Jenell Krishnan and Undraa Maamuujav will be collaborating on the grant.
Research Title: “The Affordances of Infographics for Undergraduates’ Writing Development.”
Writing is a cognitively-demanding task for undergraduate students because it requires an in-depth understanding of rhetorical and domain knowledge, genre conventions, and linguistic principles. Teaching writing to students with diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds in a way that fosters competence and confidence is equally challenging. However, carefully-devised integration of technological tools into curriculum can support developing writers. Considering the complexity of writing from students’ and instructor’s standpoints, this exploratory, pilot study seeks to examine the affordances of infographics in process-based writing in an upper-division undergraduate writing course. The instructional approach proposed here utilizes infographics as the means of scaffolding the cognitive demands of writing all while acknowledging students’ motivational factors. The curricular integration of infographics in upper-division writing courses is grounded in the process-based writing approach that involves careful and iterative planning, writing, and revision processes. This study seeks to first explore the teaching and learning affordances of integrating infographics as a planning and communicating tool during writing-intensive courses. It also seeks to test the efficacy of this approach for improving students’ writing motivation and outcomes. This study has theoretical and practical implications for writing instructors, writing researchers and policy makers.
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