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Help! In the transition to college

3.1 Farther reaches of theoretical and methodological explorations
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:42 PM, Mardi 29 Août 2017 (24 minutes)
Studies indicate a complex developmental relationship between college adjustment and social media use (Ellison, Steinfeld & Lampe, 2007, 2011; Kalpidou, Costin & Morris, 2011). Despite, record enrollment rates only 11% of low-income and first-generation students earned a Bachelor's degree within six years, compared to 54% of the general population (Wine, Janson, & Wheeless, 2011). In light of this stark disparity, how can researchers and practitioners help support low-income and first-generation students in their transition to college?
To examine the relationship between the social affordances of the writing medium and first-generation college transition experiences, this work draws on the theory that positions writing as a social process (Daiute, 2010; Wertsch, 1991), and compares how two distinct contexts influenced the linguistic features of students’ writing over time. In one context, students blogged and received comments, while in the other context students word-processed and received no comments. The current paper then analyzes the ways that low-income, first-generation students (N = 98) blogged or word-processed, their first semester in college experiences, and how they conceived of help differently depending on the media.
Systematic qualitative and quantitative analyses of these natural language posts and comments indicated the bloggers used greater rates of cognitive expressions and intensifying language in their writing over time than students who word-processed and received no comments.  However, the bloggers also wrote about help less frequently. These results suggest a complex relationship between the interactive features of the writing context and narrators’ expressive writing over time.
Columbia University and The New York State Psychiatric Institute
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