Writing in the Majors Study

We are seeking third-year undergraduate students who are willing to complete a questionnaire and potentially serve as focus group participants for an interdisciplinary, IRB-approved research study during the spring 2017 semester. The following faculty are involved as researchers in the study:
·      Daniel Richards (Department of English)
·      Karen Higgins (School of Nursing)
·      Kathryn Schwartz (Department of Communication Disorders and Special Education)
·      Patrick Hester (Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering)
·      Sandeep Kumar (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

This research affords students the opportunity to contribute to a writing-based research project while also encouraging them to reflect on their own writing processes and experiences. The research study is broken up into two main phases:

Phase 1: Online Questionnaire
The questionnaire we are asking students to complete is 25 questions in length and is entirely online and anonymous. The expected time of completion is 30 minutes. The link to the survey can be found here:

Writing in the Majors Questionnaire

For your review, a paper copy of the questionnaire can be viewed here. To incentivize students, you may build this into your course as a bonus assignment worth a few points if they take a screenshot of the questionnaire completion screen and upload to Blackboard.

Note to Teacher: Sharing this link is the extent of your obligation. Phase Two below can be carried out without anything required on your behalf other than more incentives if students sign up for the focus group (phase 2).

Phase 2: Focus Groups
The final question of the questionnaire re-directs to another page (to keep responses separate and thus anonymous) and asks students if they would be interested in serving as focus group participants to build off the data collected in the questionnaire. Students selected will receive a $5.00 Starbucks gift card. The focus groups will be one hour in length and will be led by trained faculty and graduate students. A paper copy of the focus group description can be viewed here. Faculty can also incentivize participation in the focus groups as well by assigning a bonus write-up for students to reflect on their experiences.

Note to Teacher: We only ask of you that you encourage your students to complete the questionnaire, preferably after you provide some context. From there, we will recruit students for the focus group. Feel free to share the survey link via email, Blackboard, or course website.

We sincerely hope you consider participating in this important research. Please email Dr. Daniel Richards (dprichar@odu.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.