Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on CALL No.2 July, 2015 Pp. 68 –80
Online Tutorials on Advanced WritingSkills Course:
A Case Study of Distance Learning1
English Language and Literature Department
Faculty of Social and Political Sciences
Universitas Terbuka, Indonesia
Writing in English at the advanced level often refers to the process of writing. As a process, it normally goes through a series of stages such as prewriting, outlining, writing, and revising. However, teaching writing within the context of distance higher education is mostly delivered through the Internet. This paper explores an online tutorial package that is specially designed for advanced level students to improve their proficiency in writing essays. For this purpose, a research question was developed: To what extent can the technology-based online tutorial help both the tutors and the students in the teaching and learning process? A critical analysis of this practice in association with the notion of admission test to an undergraduate degree programme in translation, in particular, was then followed by a detailed discussion. Conclusions drawn from this case study are in two folds; on one hand, online advanced writing course tutorials can be considered as an alternative strategy for students to their competency in writing essays which have been achieved by learning through printed self-instructional modular packages (i.e., Writing 4 course module), and on the other, the findings are closely linked to some students’ poor writing performance prior to pursuing translation core courses could have a possible impact on retention rates in the long run.
Keywords: Aadmission test advanced writing skills course, retention rate, students’ performance, online tutorial.