Description: The problem with which this investigation is concerned is that students of unequal writing ability are frequently placed in the same beginning media writing classes in college journalism. It is difficult for a teacher to be effective when the ability of the students ranges from those who cannot write clear complete sentences to others whose work already appears in newspapers and magazines. The purpose of this study is to determine whether students who are ability grouped into slow—average and advanced groups do the same, better, or worse than heterogeneously grouped students. In the spring semester of 1987, students in Journalism 1345, Media Writing laboratory, at the University of Texas at Arlington, were given a pretest to determine how well they wrote a simple news story and a simple feature story. On the basis of that test, which was graded by three raters, the students were placed in two separate ability groups in three classes. The fourth class contained students with heterogeneous abilities who were not placed in groups. At the end of the semester a posttest was given in news and feature writing. A two-way analysis of variance was used to analyze the posttest scores of sixty-seven students. There was no significant difference in the posttest scores of students who were grouped homogeneously and those who were grouped heterogeneously. The difference in the scores of heterogeneously grouped advanced students and homogeneously grouped advanced students was not significantly different from the difference between the posttest scores of heterogeneously grouped slow-average students and homogeneously grouped slow-average students.
Date: December 1987
Creator: Haber, Marian Wynne