Effects of Assessment Results on a Writing and Thinking Rubric

Effects of Assessment Results on a Writing and Thinking Rubric

Teresa Flateby (University of South Florida, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-667-9.ch008
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The development of the Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Assessment online system is described in this chapter. Beginning with needs identified in a learning community program, the system evolved from a classroom analytic writing and thinking assessment rubric to an online system for classroom assessment and instructional purposes. Reflecting the assessment cycle, the system is equally appropriate for program or institutional assessment of student learning. Over a period of twelve years, assessment, survey, and research data guided changes and additions to the rubric and system. Preliminary data suggest using the system for peer review improves students’ writing and thinking.
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Initial Development And Use Of Findings

Based upon commonly used writing handbooks, such as St. Martin’s Handbook, Harbrace College Handbook, and Scott Foresman Handbook for Writers, the initial writing rubric was a five point analytic scale with levels one, three, and five defined. Several factors influenced the decision to develop an analytic scale, in which individual components are judged separately, rather than a holistic scale in which a paper is assigned a single score. An analytic scale provides both a common set of criteria faculty could use to guide their evaluation of students’ writing and flexibility to select from the criteria. Furthermore, White (1998), a composition theorist and early proponent of holistic scoring, cautioned that while judgments can be made holistically (choosing one level as a representation of all criteria), faculty must teach analytically. While giving a grade represents a holistic perception, feedback about the specific criteria used to make the holistic judgment provides students with the information necessary to improve. Also, through conversations with the learning community faculty, including composition instructors, they revealed that students often are better with some components of writing than others.

Although based upon writing handbooks, the categories also were affected by assessment results as the rubric was initially used. For example, the components that comprised the original category of “Organization and Development” were divided into two separate categories: one pertaining to structure and the other reflecting reasoning and evidence supplied. We observed that while many beginning students’ essays had an appealing structure (five paragraph essays which students learned to produce for standardized testing), the quality of content and the reasoning demonstrated in the essays were often weak. These results were used to refine the rubric and more clearly reflect writing traits we hoped to foster.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Peer Review: An approach used to provide peers (students) with feedback to improve their performance.

Holistic Scoring: A single score is used to indicate the overall achievement level of a performance (e.g. writing assignments).

Formative Assessment: The collection of data to determine if progress is being made toward learning outcomes. If weaknesses are identified, results are used to make changes in the curriculum or in courses.

Summative Assessment: The collection of data to determine if leaning outcomes are achieved.

CLAQWA: The Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Assessment is a two-part scale developed to analytically evaluate writing and thinking and to judge the cognitive level reached in student writing.

Assessment: The use of valid and reliable data to determine achievement of measurable student learning outcomes or to improve achievement of student learning outcomes. This is a process that typically seen as a mechanism to improve student learning through curricular or instructional changes. .

Analytic Scoring: Multiple scores are used to indicate performance on specific criteria used to judge a performance.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Christopher S. Schreiner
Christopher S. Schreiner
Chapter 1
Melissa A. Dyehouse, John Y. Baek, Richard A. Lesh
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Chapter 2
Hedva Lewittes
In this chapter critical thinking is assessed using two critical thinking learning outcomes that were required for the State University of New... Sample PDF
A Critical Thinking Rubric as the Basis of Assessment and Curriculum
Chapter 3
Suzanne Pieper, Erika Edwards, Brandon Haist, Walter Nolan
The purpose of this chapter is to review literature over the past ten years regarding technology tools that are being used in higher education to... Sample PDF
A Survey of Effective Technologies to Assess Student Learning
Chapter 4
John Baer, Sharon S. McKool
The Consensual Assessment Technique is a powerful tool used by creativity researchers in which panels of expert judges are asked to rate the... Sample PDF
Assessing Creativity Using the Consensual Assessment Technique
Chapter 5
Christine Charyton, Zorana Ivcevic, Jonathan A. Plucker, James C. Kaufman
This chapter discusses creativity assessment as a means for evaluating skills required in higher education. Creativity is assessed in the context of... Sample PDF
Creativity Assessment in Higher Education
Chapter 6
Asao B. Inoue
This chapter articulates writing assessment as a technology, theorized with three aspects (power, parts, and purpose), accounting for the ways in... Sample PDF
The Technology of Writing Assessment and Racial Validity
Chapter 7
Sheila S. Thompson, Annemarie Vaccaro
The purpose of this chapter is to address epistemological and methodological approaches to assessing assessment. The authors’ intent is to show how... Sample PDF
Qualitative and Quantitative Methods as Complementary Assessment Tools
Chapter 8
Teresa Flateby
The development of the Cognitive Level and Quality of Writing Assessment online system is described in this chapter. Beginning with needs identified... Sample PDF
Effects of Assessment Results on a Writing and Thinking Rubric
Chapter 9
Barbara D’Angelo, Barry Maid
Outcomes-based assessment provides data for programs to demonstrate student learning as a result of their enrollment in the program and to assess... Sample PDF
Assessing Outcomes in a Technical Communication Capstone
Chapter 10
Sonya Borton, Alanna Frost, Kate Warrington
As Jacqueline Jones Royster articulated at the 2006 Conference on College Composition and Communication, English departments are already assessing... Sample PDF
Assessing the Composition Program on Our Own Terms
Chapter 11
Joan Aitken
This chapter uses a case study to exemplify one approach to assessment of three instructional delivery formats: (a) online, (b) distance, satellite... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Instructional Delivery Formats
Chapter 12
Victor W. Brunsden
The author present a case-study of a classroom technique that allows assessment and some remediation of several shortcomings of college student... Sample PDF
Inverting the Remedial Mathematics Classroom with Alternative Assessment
Chapter 13
David A. Eubanks
This chapter describes Coker College’s subjective performance assessment program to rate student thinking and communication skills. It uses a... Sample PDF
A Case Study of Authentic Assessment
Chapter 14
P. Tokyo Kang, David Gugin
This chapter reports an outcomes assessment study conducted at the University of Guam. The assessment project was conducted during the 2006-07 and... Sample PDF
Outcomes Assessment in Japanese Language Instruction
Chapter 15
Barika Barboza, Frances Singh
This chapter describes an outcomes assessment study completed in a basic composition course at a small urban open admissions community college. The... Sample PDF
Assessing the Effectiveness of a Basic Writing Course
Chapter 16
Lorraine Gilpin, Yasar Bodur, Kathleen Crawford
Peer assessment holds tremendous potential to positively impact the development of preservice teachers. The purpose of this chapter is to describe... Sample PDF
Peer Assessment for Development of Preservice Teachers
Chapter 17
Charlotte Brammer, Rhonda Parker
In 2002, Samford University began working on a long-term learning assessment plan designed to evaluate its undergraduates’ competencies in written... Sample PDF
Workshops and E-Portfolios as Transformational Assessment
Chapter 18
Daniel F. Chambliss
This chapter describes how the trend favoring assessment initiatives of a system-wide scope such as program review and collegiate learning... Sample PDF
A Neglected Necessity in Liberal Arts Assessment: The Student as the Unit of Analysis
Chapter 19
Deirdre Pettipiece, Timothy Ray, Justin Everett
Perhaps due to its applicability as a performance of skill sets in virtually all disciplines, writing as a mechanism for measuring student success... Sample PDF
Redefining Writing Reality Multi-Modal Writing and Assessment
Chapter 20
Sean A. McKitrick
This chapter introduces methods that can be used to engage faculty in the assessment process, working within a shared governance structure in... Sample PDF
Engaging Faculty as a Strategic Choice in Assessment
Chapter 21
Steven M. Culver, Ray VanDyke
There is much in the assessment literature about the necessity of developing a culture of assessment and mandates from accrediting bodies include... Sample PDF
Developing a Receptive and Faculty-Focused Environment for Assessment
Chapter 22
John Wittman
This chapter argues that as primary stakeholders in writing program assessment, students and instructors need to be included proactively in... Sample PDF
New Collaborations for Writing Program Assessment
Chapter 23
Mya Poe
The study of racial-ethnic group differences on educational tests has yielded a substantial body of research internationally in the last decade. In... Sample PDF
Reporting Race and Ethnicity in International Assessment
Chapter 24
Joan Hawthorne, Tatyana Dumova, April Bradley, Daphne Pederson
In this chapter the authors describe a method developed to assess the outcome of a “cultural familiarity” general education goal. Challenges in... Sample PDF
Method Development for Assessing a Diversity Goal
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