English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 5-9-2019


This dissertation is based on a year-long mixed-methods study of linguistically diverse students in one online composition program. It focuses on the experiences of students and instructors from 27 online sections of first and second-year college writing courses. Using student and instructor surveys and interviews, it analyzes how second language writers’ success was affected by the online environment, especially by the issues of technology and digital divide, students’ online identity construction, and the lack of authentic online classroom learning communities. The manuscript provides a broader overlook of students’ experiences across linguistic backgrounds and uses four case studies to offer a detailed, in-depth account of four multilingual students’ paths through their online writing courses. This dissertation provides writing instructors and administrators with recommendations to re-envision online writing courses, mobilizing the affordances of online venues to promote the success of students from all language backgrounds.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Todd Ruecker

Second Committee Member

Tiffany Bourelle

Third Committee Member

Bethany Davila

Fourth Committee Member

Susan Miller-Cochran




composition, writing studies, online writing instruction, multilingual students, second language writing

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