ASSESSING COGNITIVE AND SELF-REGULATED WRITING STRATEGIES FOR BIOLOGY LAB REPORTS

Open Access
Author:
Hu, Huiqing
Graduate Program:
Educational Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 28, 2016
Committee Members:
  • Robert James Stevens, Thesis Advisor
  • Peggy Noel Van Meter, Committee Member
  • Rayne Audrey Sperling, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Writing Strategies
  • Self-Regulation
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Writing Perforamnce
  • Biology Lab Report
Abstract:
This study developed and validated a self-report instrument to measure students’ use of cognitive and self-regulation writing strategies for biology lab reports. Initial psychometric properties were collected, along with three sources of validity evidence to support the interpretation and use of the instrument. Specifically, evidence based on item content was examined through expert judgements, evidence based on internal structured was examined through exploratory factor analysis, and evidence based on relationships with biology writing self-efficacy and lab report performance was analyzed. The results showed that after content modifications to each item, the overall instrument had good alignment with the strategies to be measured. The final instrument rested on 22 items that reflected six strategies for lab report writing: self-regulation, revision based on peer feedback, revision based on TA feedback, planning, drafting, and evaluation of writing mechanics. Furthermore, discriminant validity between the strategies and biology self-efficacy was supported, and there was partial support for criterion validity. Revisions based on TA feedback and drafting strategies were significantly predictive of writing performances on full biology lab reports. Finding suggest that the instrument can be valid theory-based assessment tool to examine cognitive and self-regulation strategies in writing biology lab reports. Limitations and further research are also discussed.