February 22, 2017

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

By Brian Huot, Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore

Whereas such a lot English execs believe pleased with language and literacy theories, evaluate theories look extra alien. English pros usually don’t have a transparent figuring out of the foremost recommendations in academic dimension, akin to validity and reliability, nor do they comprehend the statistical formulation linked to psychometrics. yet realizing evaluation theory—and making use of it—by those people who are no longer psychometricians is important in constructing helpful, moral tests in university writing courses, and in examining and utilizing evaluate effects.

A advisor to varsity Writing Assessment is designed as an creation and resource ebook for WPAs, division chairs, academics, and directors. continually cognizant of the serious elements of specific instructing contexts, O’Neill, Moore, and Huot have written subtle yet obtainable chapters at the historical past, conception, software and heritage of writing overview, they usually provide a dozen appendices of sensible samples and types for various universal review wishes.

simply because there are many assets on hand to help school in assessing the writing of person scholars particularly school rooms, A advisor to school Writing review focuses on techniques to the types of evaluation that usually ensue outdoor of person school rooms: placement review, go out exam, programmatic evaluate, and college assessment. so much of all, the argument of this ebook is that developing the stipulations for significant university writing evaluate hinges not just on figuring out the heritage and theories informing review perform, but additionally on composition courses availing themselves of the entire variety of obtainable review practices.

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One thing we know for sure, if WPAs and writing teachers work actively to create a productive culture of assessment around the teaching of writing and the administration of writing programs, the future of writing assessment will be much different from its past. 3 CONSIDERING THEORY There is nothing as practical as a good theory. —Kurt Lewin Theory and practice have had an uneasy relationship in college writing assessment (much like the relationship between theory and practice in teaching). Writing assessment scholars, such as Brian Huot (2002) Pamela Moss (1998), Bob Broad (2003), and more recently, Patricia Lynne (2004), have agreed that the emphasis in assessment is on practice without adequate attention to theory.

28 A G U I D E TO C O L L E G E W R I T I N G A S S E S S M E N T critique. In some ways, it might be possible to see this transition from one kind of writing assessment scholarship to another as a move from reliability as the main subject to validity as the necessary focus of writing assessment scholarship. This transition to studying validity can be seen in the work of William L. Smith (1992, 1993), who conducted a series of studies on the writing placement program he directed at the University of Pittsburgh.

Palmer 1960, 14) Palmer’s obituary for reliable (and therefore valid4) writing assessment comes in 1960 after several years during the 1950s when CEEB and ETS researchers struggled in vain to produce reliable writing assessment (see Elliot 2005, 136–52). At this point, ETS and CEEB were no longer administering writing tests that had students actually writing. Multiple-choice tests of grammar usage and mechanics that correlated well enough with essay scores were used instead. These tests were euphemistically called indirect measures of writing.

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