Purpose – Given that there exists in the literature relatively little research into the effectiveness of writing centers at universities, the purpose of this paper is to show the impact of university writing centers on first-year business seminar student writing. Design/methodology/approach – This quantitative study involved 315 first-year undergraduate business students. Logistic and quantile regression analysis was used to test two hypotheses. Findings – Results indicate that student intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors positively influenced the likelihood that a student visits the center. Student grades on writing assignments were significantly higher for students who visited the writing center but only for students who scored in the top 40th percentile of the grade distribution. Practical implications – Writing centers should try to reach all students not only those who are naturally motivated. Most importantly, centers should find ways to help students in the lower portion of grade distribution since these students presumably require sustained help. Originality/value – This paper suggests that writing centers helped only students at the top of the grades distribution which may be valuable to universities in assessing impact of writing centers and help in the efforts to improve student writing. However, this effect can only be uncovered using quantile regression. Therefore, this research has demonstrated the potential usefulness of quantile regression as a predictive and explanatory tool in assessment.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 11, 2015
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