Student perceptions on writing support
The value of peer-tutoring has been highlighted in a number of studies. But often the value of such support is lost on, especially, first year students, who perceive such support as an indication that they may be ‘lacking’ in some way. It is not uncommon to find that attendance at tutorial classes is often low, or not at all, especially if attendance is not mandatory. Worse still is the reality that should students not ‘buy into’ the idea of such support, or be convinced that such support is valuable, they may not benefit. This particular study looks at one such ‘compulsory’ tutorial programme, with a view to determining student perceptions to the tutorial programme, as well as to the role of the tutor in helping them improve their (academic) writing. The article highlights the type of writing support provided to students during the tutorials and by their tutors through the use of checklists, feedback and one-on-one consultations. The study is particularly significant, as it allows us the opportunity to evaluate our offerings, not in isolation, but by giving a voice to those most affected by the implementation of such interventions.
Keywords: academic writing, academic literacy, tutorial programme, tutor, writing process, writing support, peer-tutoring