Technology in the Composition Classroom

A Study by Elizabeth Cater Childs and Jill Parrott

ENGL7050:  Computers and Composition

Dr. Michelle Sidler, Spring 2005


In order to understand the results better, we collected demographic data on each student surveyed.  There were 76 students total who took part in our study, and we asked their age, gender, year in school, and area of major. 

Age and Year in School

At Auburn University, ENGL1120 (English Composition II) is a required core course and a prerequisite for the core literature courses; therefore, most students take it in the second semester of their first year or early in their second year.  The pie charts below illustrate that this was certainly the case in our classes:

            Figure 1:  Year in School                                            Figure 2:  Age







Figure 1 shows that 82% of the students surveyed were either 1st or 2nd year students, and Figure 2 shows that 75% were either 18 or 19.  This indicates that the majority of our students are traditional students—that is, they graduated high school and came directly to college. 



          Figure 3: Gender Distribution                                                                        

                                                                              Although Mrs. Childs’ students

                                                                              were divided almost evenly between                                                                               males and females (51% and 49%,

                                                                              respectively), Ms. Parrott’s classes

                                                                              were predominately male, with

                                                                              females making up only 27% of

                                                                              students surveyed from her

                                                                              classes.  Figure 3 illustrates the

                                                                              overall gender distribution.                                            


Area of Major                                                      Figure 4:  Area of Major


A full 67% of the students                  

surveyed were either in the

School of Engineering, the

College of Liberal Arts, or

the College of Business. 

The College of Liberal Arts

has the largest enrollment

of all the colleges and

schools at Auburn

University, particularly

Because most undeclared

Students are classified

As Liberal Arts students.

So our sample, with 27%

Business, was actually

atypical of the overall

student body.