A Guide to College Writing Assessment by Brian Huot, Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore

By Brian Huot, Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore

Whereas so much English execs suppose pleased with language and literacy theories, overview theories look extra alien. English pros usually don’t have a transparent realizing of the major options in academic dimension, reminiscent of validity and reliability, nor do they comprehend the statistical formulation linked to psychometrics. yet figuring out review theory—and making use of it—by people who are now not psychometricians is necessary in constructing invaluable, moral checks in university writing courses, and in studying and utilizing overview effects.

A consultant to varsity Writing Assessment is designed as an advent and resource e-book for WPAs, division chairs, academics, and directors. consistently cognizant of the serious elements of specific instructing contexts, O’Neill, Moore, and Huot have written refined yet obtainable chapters at the historical past, conception, software and history of writing evaluation, and so they supply a dozen appendices of sensible samples and versions for quite a number universal evaluation wishes.

simply because there are various assets on hand to help college in assessing the writing of person scholars particularly school rooms, A consultant to varsity Writing overview focuses on techniques to the types of evaluation that sometimes take place outdoors of person study rooms: placement review, go out exam, programmatic evaluation, and college evaluate. such a lot of all, the argument of this ebook is that growing the stipulations for significant university writing review hinges not just on knowing the heritage and theories informing overview perform, but in addition on composition courses availing themselves of the total diversity of obtainable review practices.

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In addition to the acrimonious tone toward those who would insist upon looking at student writing for college admission, it’s important to note that the movement from essay testing to multiple choice was predicated upon the crisis brought on by the Unites States’ entry into World War II. As with the universal requirement for education at the turn of the century or the need to classify recruits for the world wars or subsequent crises in literate behavior, the answer seems to be more and better assessment.

According to Lorrie Shepard in an article on classroom assessment, the early twentieth century was influenced by scientific measurement, a hereditarian theory of intelligence, and associationist and behaviorist learning theories, which supported a curriculum of social efficiency that was characterized by the scientific management of schools, differentiated curriculum based on predicted social roles, carefully specified educational objectives, and the science of exact measurement and precise standards among other things (2000, 5).

Theory, in this scheme, helps in understanding practices, and practice helps to formulate theories as an instructor moves to deeper theoretical sophistication and improved practice. In fact, theory is fundamental to practices and our revision of practice. Phelps’s articulation echoes, in some ways, Donald Schön’s idea of “reflective practice,” which involves a practitioner (not necessarily a writing specialist) who “reflects in action,” becoming a “researcher in the practice context” (1983, 68).

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