Empowering Online Developmental Writing Students Through a Focus on Mindset and Goals

Session Description
In order to have a truly democratic representation of voices in our nation, online developmental writing students must learn to write effectively as a large portion of their voices currently are not being heard. Students that are required to start their college career with English classes below college level bring a lifetime of disappointment to their first day and have often been erroneously led to believe that only the talented achieve good writing. The burden of previous challenges and failures lead them to a conviction that they are “just not good writers,” in a very permanent, pre-destined sort of way. A crucial starting point for self-efficacy as an online learner in composition is the conviction that one can construct effective and meaningful communication. From there, students will reach their potential through collaborating with the knowledgeable instructor to set their own specific goals to improve their writing, complete with steps to reach these goals. It is here that the importance of a writer’s mental outlook is required again, as persistence is essential to surviving the process. Both internal and external barriers commonly arise in the act of composition and must be anticipated. Once these hurdles are cleared, students will benefit from goal-relevant feedback from their writing and space to reflect on and revise goals to continue their advancement. Students achieve purposeful progress in online developmental composition through this synthesis of understanding optimal mindset, setting specific goals, persevering through obstacles, and reflecting upon and revising these goals.
  • Frances Pistoresi, University of Phoenix, Online, USA
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