Powell and Hixson-Bowles Publish Study on Writing Tutors’ Self-Efficacy

Posted on 2/14/2019 10:07:09 AM

Recent doctoral graduate Roger Powell and current Composition and Applied Linguistics’ doctoral candidate Kelsey Hixson-Bowles published their findings in a quantitative study on writing tutors’ self-efficacy. Their article, “Too Confident or Not Confident Enough? A Quantitative Snapshot of Writing Tutors’ Writing and Tutoring Self-Efficacies,” explores the relationship between writing tutors’ confidence in writing and confidence in tutoring and if that relationship changes over time.

146 tutors from around the world (though mostly located in the United States) responded to their survey. Results suggest that writing tutors tend to have high self-efficacy in both writing and tutoring. Further, Powell and Hixson-Bowles found a strong correlation between tutors’ writing and tutoring self-efficacy scores and a weak correlation between tutoring self-efficacy and time employed as a tutor.

Based on these results, Powell and Hixson-Bowles conclude that writing tutors’ confidence as tutors is informed by their confidence as writers and vice versa. Additionally, they suggest that development in tutoring and writing self-efficacies are very individualized.

Writing center administrators and tutors alike will benefit from this research. Writing center administrators will be able to use these findings to design tutor education that helps tutors be more aware of their self-efficacy development in both areas. Tutors, or potential tutors, can benefit from knowing that growing as a writing tutor and growing as a writer are correlated.

The article can be read online.

Department of English