Advice for Departmental Writing Assessment

The following advice is designed to assist CSUS departments with writing assessment in their major. If your department is currently working on writing assessment and would like assistance, please contact Dan Melzer, University Reading and Writing Coordinator, 151 Calaveras, 278-6925, melzer@csus.edu.

 

Goals to consider for assessment: 

 Assessment can include information from: 

 Effective assessment is: 

 Assumptions about writing assessors should be aware of: 


 


Types of Assessment 


 

Timed Essay

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

  • Easy to implement
  • Less time consuming than other forms of assessment
  • Norming sessions allows for faculty dialogue

 

  • Artificial rhetorical situation
  • Artificial writing process
  • Limited information
  • Single example of discourse
  • Little connection to curriculum and teaching

 

Classroom Assignment

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

  • Easy to implement
  • Presents a rhetorical situation
  • Allows for a writing process
  • Connection to curriculum and teaching

 

 

  • Limited information
  • Single example of discourse

 

Portfolio

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

  • Presents a variety of rhetorical situations
  • Variety of examples of discourse
  • Measures process and product
  • Includes student input
  • Connection to teaching and curriculum

 

 

  • Time-consuming
  • Difficult to implement
  • Difficult to assess

 

Ethnographic Research

Advantages

Disadvantages

 

  • Multi-modal: observation, interview, textual analysis
  • Variety of examples of discourse
  • Measures process and product
  • Includes student and teacher input
  • Connection to teaching and curriculum

 

  • Time consuming
  • Difficult to implement
  • Difficult to assess