Fischer, L. M., Meyers, C. A. & Dobelbower, S. E. (2017). Exploring how pedagogical strategies change student perceptions of writing apprehension. Journal of Agricultural Education, 58(4) 254-268. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2017.04254
Writing skills are imperative for students in any career; however, many students have acknowledged avoiding courses that emphasize writing. These same students fail to learn proper mechanics during their post-secondary education. Writing intensive courses have served as a place where students have the opportunity to improve confidence, minimize avoidance-like attitudes, and improve writing techniques. Prior literature has found a relationship between self-efficacy and writing apprehension; additionally, research has suggested how pedagogical strategies can be used to improve self-efficacy. This study sought to explore how the implementation of pedagogical activities changes self-efficacy and the student’s level of writing apprehension. A qualitative research design allowed for a thick description of the students’ perceptions and reactions to pedagogical activities. The findings suggested pedagogical practices and the role of the instructor played important roles to improve student confidence in writing. Specifically, practicing writing, opportunities to edit and reflect, following a guide, and writing about what matters may be used in courses to improve confidence and writing skills. Additionally, the instructor should provide constructive criticism and serve as a coach during the learning process. In order to improve writing curriculum and student confidence toward writing, instructors should incorporate these recommendations into their curriculum.