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The impact of a clinical writing workshop on graduate student performance, self-efficacy, and beliefs about clinical writing

Whitney Schneider-Cline, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Graduate speech-language pathology students are frequently expected to engage in clinical writing assignments from the onset of their academic experience despite often having limited exposure to and training with this writing genre. As a result, students may experience frustration and demonstrate limited proficiency in clinical writing tasks, which can be detrimental to them professionally. The purpose of this mixed methods study was to develop and evaluate a clinical writing workshop tailored to graduate speech-language pathology students. Specific cognitive (i.e., self-regulation, critical thinking), motivational (i.e., self-efficacy) and instructional (i.e., models, writing practice, explicit instruction, and feedback) features were included in this intervention. It was hypothesized that participation would result in greater self-regulation and critical thinking as related to clinical writing performance, improved clinical writing self-efficacy, and more positive attitudes towards clinical writing. Seventeen Caucasian, female graduate speech-language pathology students at a Midwest university participated in the intervention. Pre- and post-intervention clinical writing samples were collected and rated using the Clinical Writing Rubric to measure participants’ self-regulation and critical thinking specific to clinical writing. The Clinical Writing Self-Efficacy Scale and the Liking Clinical Writing Scale were administered at pre-, mid-, and post-intervention to measure participants’ self-efficacy in the clinical writing domain and identify participants’ feelings and attitudes towards this writing genre. Participants also completed pre-, mid-, and post-intervention Clinical Writing Questionnaires, and interviews were conducted to provide further insight into participants’ experience with clinical writing (pre-intervention) and their growth in this area (post-intervention). Interviews with non-participants provided a comparison of clinical writing beliefs from those outside the intervention. Finally, researcher field notes describing the content of each of the workshop sessions helped portray the instructional components incorporated into the intervention. Analyses of all data gathered indicated that participants demonstrated (1) improved self-regulation skills, (2) improved clinical writing performance following engagement in embedded critical thinking tasks, (3) higher self-efficacy in clinical writing, and (4) a more positive attitude towards clinical writing following completion of the intervention. The results of the study are intended to inform future research in this area and guide the design of clinical writing instruction for graduate speech-language pathology students.

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Schneider-Cline, Whitney, "The impact of a clinical writing workshop on graduate student performance, self-efficacy, and beliefs about clinical writing" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3738574.