Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Educational Psychology


Helen L. Johnson

Committee Members

David Rindskopf

Daisuke Akiba

Janice Walters

Caterina Almendral

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Early Childhood Education | Educational Methods | Higher Education


Community College, Peer Feedback, Belongingness, Academic Writing


Research has documented that low-level writing skills among postsecondary students are an ongoing concern and contribute to the lack of persistence and degree attainment for community college students (Karp, 2011; Perin, 2013). Since academic writing is a process that develops over time (Perin, 2003), many students require writing support beyond remedial course work for long-term success in more advanced courses (Karp, Hughes, & O’Gara 2010; Perin, 2013; Tapp, 2013). The current study used a Community of Practice (CoP) framework (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to create a content-based peer feedback intervention to examine two key ways in which a content-based peer feedback writing intervention may contribute to community college students’ academic success: supporting improvement of academic writing, and fostering feelings of belongingness in the academic community.

The study population comprised students who were randomly selected from 24 class sections (10 from each). 12 of the sections were randomly assigned to the treatment condition, the other 12 to the control condition. Participants’ writing quality was measured through drafts and final writing submissions. Students’ feelings of belongingness were measured by the Classroom Community Scale (Rovai, 2002) through pretest and posttest. Demographic results indicated that the treatment and control did not differ on age, years attended college, ethnicity, home language, other family members college experience, and remedial course work. Results showed changes over time in students’ writing scores and feelings of belongingness were statistically significant in the content-based peer feedback treatment condition, but not in the business as usual, self-editing control conditions. Other findings and data suggest areas for future research. Instructional and classroom applications are discussed.