Beyond Outcomes: Assessment and Instruction Within a University Writing Program

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Richard H. Haswell
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001 - Education - 234 pages
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Writing assessment programs help place entering and mid-career students in composition courses at the appropriate level, monitor the progress of those students, and assist in placing them in writing courses throughout their undergraduate careers. These same universities also have writing instruction programs, which might include writing centers, writing-across-the-curriculum initiatives, and freshman and advanced composition programs. At many institutions, though, writing assessment is not necessarily considered fundamental to writing instruction, and there is little communication between the assessment program and the composition program. This book demonstrates that writing assessment and instruction programs may be successfully integrated.

The contributors analyze the development of the writing assessment and instruction program at Washington State University, which is nationally recognized for its success. In doing so, they provide guidance to other institutions planning to develop similar integrated programs. The volume argues that writing assessment and instruction should inform and influence each other; that they should evolve together; and that they should be developed locally. By tracing the success of the WSU program, the authors directly challenge the use of national packaged assessment programs, such as standardized placement tests.

 

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Contents

Program History Three Narratives
1
The Continuing Program A Retrospective View
3
Authoring an Exam Adventuring into LargeScale Writing Assessment
13
An Assessment Office within a Writing Center The Butterfly Effect
25
Toward Outcomes
37
The TwoTier Rating System The Need for Ongoing Change
39
The Obvious Placement The Addition of Theory
53
Exploring the Difficult Cases In the Cracks of Writing Assessment
65
Students as Stakeholders Maintaining a Responsive Assessment
143
Faculty Opinion and Experience The Writing Portfolio
161
Working with Administrators A Dialogue on Dialogue
169
Program Future Eight Questions
187
Whither? Some Questions Some Answers
191
The Writing Program at Washington State University A Time Line
206
Writing Placement Essay PromptsWashington State University
212
Information Rating Sheet
214

The Circle of Assessment and Instruction
81
Writes of Passage Conceptualizing the Relationship of Writing Center and Writing Assessment Practices
83
Taking the Basic out of Basic Writing
93
ValueAdded Studies Defending the Circle
107
Validation Part of the Circle
125
Beyond Outcomes
141
References
215
Index of Authors Cited
223
Subject Index
226
About the Editor and Contributors
231
Copyright

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Page v - Blake, and Brian Huot, eds. Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum: Diverse Approaches and Practices. Greenwich: Ablex, 1997. Contains fourteen chapters by experienced WAC professionals, offering a range of possibilities for evaluating programmatic effectiveness. The Future of WAC Barbara E.

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About the author (2001)

RICHARD H. HASWELL is Haas Professor of English at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. He was Director of Composition at Washington State University from 1972 to 1982, and from 1993 to 1996 he directed the Washington State University Office of Writing Assessment. His previous books include Gaining Ground in College Writing: Tales of Development and Interpretation (1991), The HBJ Reader (1987), and with Min-Zhan Lu, Comp Tales: An Introduction to College Composition through its Stories (2000).