Date of Award

12-20-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Nancy Hayward, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Abstract

This ethnographic study examines peer response sessions among writers in a first-year residence hall. It explores how students practice extracurricular peer response and investigates the ways in which extracurricular peer response differs from traditional classroom peer response. Because capturing peer response sessions occurring in a residence hall presents unique problems of access, the study’s research design includes the use of trained student recorders — first-year students residing in the research site who observed and recorded the peer response sessions of their fellow hallmates. In addition to the observation notes generated from these student recorders, other data included the documents generated by the peer response partners, transcribed tape recordings of their sessions, and transcribed tape recordings of follow-up interviews. The data was analyzed and consolidated through a coding process and the selection of critical incidents. An analysis of 10 peer response sessions revealed some differences between extracurricular and classroom peer response practices. The results showed that students preferred working in a technology-rich environment and that they frequently engaged in bonding behavior during their peer response sessions. Participants’ emphasis on forming rapport with their peer response partners suggests that strong social connections are an important part of students’ ideologies of peer response. Furthermore, the study confirmed that students are able to conduct effective peer response sessions autonomously in an extracurricular setting. The study indicates that composition teachers who employ peer response pedagogy should incorporate community-building exercises in their writing classes, and that these teachers should then allow students greater freedom in the selection of classroom peer response partners in order to facilitate strong social connections among peer response partners.

Share

COinS