Use of writing strategies by undergraduate students in the performance of hybrid tasks

Submitted by: Olga Arias-Gundín
Abstract: Background. Hybrid tasks are one of the most common academic tasks demanded to undergraduate students. These involved reading and writing to solve them successfully. Not all of these tasks, from a summary to a proper synthesis, have the same level of complexity. It varies depending on the number of sources from which the information comes (Spivey, 1997). Teachers generally claim that students’ academic work suffers from low quality. They often insist that the written products are not sufficiently developed. The students' synthesis tasks are just juxtapositions of text fragments, which lack a storyline. This fact showed that the information is not integrated. It could be explained as a result of problems to correctly extract the information from source texts and/or lack of elaboration in the students' own final synthesis text.
Aims. In present study we explore: i) undergraduate students writing strategies and ii) the use of writing strategies influences writing performance depending on the complexity of the hybrid task.
Sample. In this study took part 793 undergraduate students (558 female and 235 male) University of León and University of Oviedo.
Method. To identify the level of use of writing strategies, students completed a Spanish version of writing style questionnaire (Kieft, Rijlaarsdam & van den Bergh, 2008). The Spanish version of questionnaire consisted of 13 items, and showed a Cronbach’s alpha of .728; it was identified three strategies: preplanning, planning, and controlling. To measure the level of writing competence the students had to write rather a synthesis from reading two texts and a summary from reading one text.
Results. We will present and discuss definitive findings in the conference.
Note. This research was possible with funds from University of León through research project (Reference: GID12-2018), awarded to Dra. Arias-Gundín.

Kieft, M., Rijlaarsdam, G. & van den Bergh, H. (2008). An aptitude-treatment interaction approach to writing-to-lear. Learning and Instruction, 18, 379-390.
Spivey, N. N. (1997) The constructivist metaphor: reading, writing and the making of meaning. San Diego: CA, Academic Press.