Date of Award

8-5-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Sharon K. Deckert, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Abstract

This research explores the current state of online writing centers by analyzing the contributions of scholars, tutors, and students to the pedagogical practices of online peer tutoring. The study examines three areas of online peer synchronous tutoring from students' perspectives: a) students' experiences, b) students' revision processes, and c) sound practices for online tutoring. The findings emphasize the importance of including students in conversations about online tutoring practices to improve and enhance the ways writing centers help students become better writers. This dissertation addresses new areas of research by observing interactions during online sessions and interviewing students to determine effective tutoring practices. With the lack of published empirical research devoted to online peer tutoring practices, this research provides a foundation for online tutor training scholarship with student voices. The students explained their expectations of sessions, reaffirmed practices previous writing center research has deemed important, and made suggestions instrumental to developing sound online peer tutoring practices. This dissertation argues for the inclusion of students' voices in order to fully develop sound practices for online tutoring.

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