Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

English

First Advisor

Shana Hartman

Abstract

nspired by a recognition of high school students’ frequent disengagement during reading and their lack of comfort and confidence with finding ways to engage with texts, the purpose of this research was to examine the impact of social-media formatted low-stakes writing tasks in the high school English classroom. Drawing from research on writing instruction, reading engagement, literacy, and social media practices, the study utilized social media as a familiar writing format for high school students, bridging out-of-school literacy practices with classroom-based literacy practices. During the six-week study in a 10th-grade English course, student participants used Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook formats (character limits, multimodal writing, hashtags, etc.) when completing low-stakes writing tasks. Data analysis indicated that social media-formatted writing tasks fostered increased student engagement during reading and writing activities while also affording students the opportunity to gain valuable peer feedback from their classroom audience. However, student choice also impacted engagement, with some participants feeling limited by the requirements of the writing tasks. Furthermore, the study heightened some students’ awareness of the differences between literacy practices outside of school and in school, emphasizing possible discrepancies between teachers’ views of literacy and students’ views of literacy despite social media formats being used in the classroom.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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