Master’s Dissertation: Making a Connection

cover625I received a distinction for the work completed on my Master’s dissertation for Durham University, England. Entitled Making a Connection: Studying the Uses of Needs Analysis in Asynchronous Writing Tutoring, the research focuses on the current relationship between the study of needs analysis and online asynchronous writing centers.

Abstract: A gap in the literature indicates that needs analysis and writing centres have yet to be explicitly studied side-by-side. This dissertation’s original contributions to knowledge are an investigation of how needs analysis is currently being used in asynchronous online writing centres, and a model that writing centres can use to focus their needs analysis efforts.  A questionnaire was created with the help of an informant, a seasoned writing centre director whose centre provides asynchronous tutoring, then emailed to an open mailing list for North American writing centre professionals. The questionnaire was primarily developed to ask participants about the way their centre: conducts asynchronous work, reports on sessions, and trains tutors. A discussion of the results suggests that there are various ways that writing centres are conducting needs analysis. In an attempt to organise a model that can be used for improving needs analysis efforts, this dissertation concludes that writing centres can benefit by: (1) using custom online asynchronous platforms; (2) collecting more and varied information; (3) using reports educationally; and (4) effectively training and positioning tutors to conduct needs analysis.

Please feel free to download it at your leisure.