Workshops and E-Portfolios as Transformational Assessment

Workshops and E-Portfolios as Transformational Assessment

Charlotte Brammer (Samford University, USA) and Rhonda Parker (Samford University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-667-9.ch017
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Abstract

In 2002, Samford University began working on a long-term learning assessment plan designed to evaluate its undergraduates’ competencies in written and oral communication as well as information and quantitative literacy (these areas were labeled Transformational Learning Abilities or TLAs). Departments were encouraged to measure student learning in ways that made sense for their particular disciplines, with an eye toward creating sustainable assessment plans that would inform program review. The Department of Communication Studies created an innovative senior capstone program that incorporates student-driven communication workshops and electronic portfolios and uses qualitative and quantitativemethods to assess the TLAs and gather valuable data for departmental review. This chapter provides a description of the program and how it serves as a catalyst for student engagement, faculty development, and departmental transformation.
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Background

First, both speaking and writing have rich connections with critical thinking and experiential learning (see for example, Bean, 1996; Broad, 2003; Morreale, Shockley-Zalabak & Whitney, 1993). As Bean notes, “writing is both a process of doing critical thinking and a product communicating the results of critical thinking” (p. 3). While Bean focused only on writing, clearly speaking represents a similar process and product. Competence in oral and written communication skills is necessary for generating, negotiating and attributing meaning. Similarly, the ability to locate, analyze, and synthesize information and to understand and produce quantitative information are essential to critical thinking. As a department, we recognized and accepted the value of the TLAs to our students’ educational goals, and thus, our challenge became how to assess our students’ progress in achieving an appropriate level of competence in each of these areas.

Many scholars have theorized and proposed models for effective assessment measures. Banta (2002) presents an approach that describes our stance on assessment. Banta asserts that effective assessment plans share three phases: planning, implementing, and improving/sustaining (see Fig.1).

Figure 1.

Banta’s (2002) Characteristics of effective outcomes assessment

Key Terms in this Chapter

Electronic Portfolio: A webpage or CD that contains selected examples or artifacts to represent efforts, successes, goals, and outcomes.

Rubric: An assessment framework intended to define expectations in order to improve inter-rater reliability.

Communication Workshop: A practical, experiential training session that covers some aspect of human communication.

Problem-Based Learning: Pedagogy based on the belief that learning occurs best when students engage in active problem-solving, particularly solving “open” problems that may have more than one possible and pragmatic solution.

Transformational Learning Abilities (TLAs): A set of abilities or skills that are the mark of a well-educated college student.

Complete Chapter List

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Dedication
Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Preface
Christopher S. Schreiner
Acknowledgment
Christopher S. Schreiner
Chapter 1
Melissa A. Dyehouse, John Y. Baek, Richard A. Lesh
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Chapter 2
Hedva Lewittes
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Chapter 3
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Chapter 8
Teresa Flateby
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Effects of Assessment Results on a Writing and Thinking Rubric
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Chapter 14
P. Tokyo Kang, David Gugin
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Outcomes Assessment in Japanese Language Instruction
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Chapter 22
John Wittman
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New Collaborations for Writing Program Assessment
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Chapter 23
Mya Poe
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Chapter 24
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About the Contributors