Writing Assessment in the Early 21st – Century

The reading for this week’s class was a little tricky for me, the pressure of grad school is kicking in! From the encouragement and humor of my fellow grad students, there is still hope for me! So lets jump into some key points I find interesting to address within the article.

THREE WAVES OF WRITING ASSESSMENT

I found this portion of the article very interesting because I can see how these waves are still seen in assesemnts today, in pratical, in my own experience as both an educator and student.

The first wave we are presented with in the article is:

Testing: Placement Assessment

When reading about this, I could not help but think of my past and current students at the school I work for. Referring back to my course World Englishes, the English language continues to grow and spread as years past. With that being said, it is pretty hard to determine the true standard form of English, unless it is in an academic setting. Unfortunatley, not everyone student globally is taught this standard for of English most colleges and universities are looking for. Here are also some keys points I found intresting in this section:

  • College, “regular” – first year composition course
    • Looking back at my little rant above, this bullet point more so targets international students who come to these american universities having their own understanding of English. The misconstruction it that they do not understand English (according to the assessments) when in all reality, they have a different view point of what is standard English
  • How well a student can edit another author’s writing
    • How fun was this part of the SAT!
  • Pro – can evaluate a student’s level
    • Of course I had to add in an upside because it is fun to ply devil’s advocate. But in all seriousness, there is definable an upside to writing assessments. We are able to see the mile marker for the students so us as educator know where to start from and move forward.

The second wave is: The Writing Process

Out of all the waves, I can say this one is truly my favorite. We actually get to the nitty gritty of how we are phiscally hands on preping the students to prepare for these writing assesments.

  • Hollistic scoring: Sampling students writing, scoring guide
    • Instead of just throughing the students into the wilderness of the assesemnt, there is sampling wiritng and guides being shown. The hardest part about writing is getting started, so imagine being thrown a writing prompt and not know what the graders are looking for. Being able to refer to or even looking at something that graders want seen in writing is a heads up in the game!
  • Teachers theaching the prompt questions
    • This takes me back to the days of my 11th garde school year, when we were getting preped for the HESPA. This test determined if we were allowed to move on to 12th grade. Since this test was very dier, there was a entire week dedicated towards preparing us for this test. ELA teachers from all grade levels were preping us for the type of essay prompts we would be tested, which it did make a big difference on how I approched tje test!

The third wave is: Attenetion to multiple text

What I took away from within this wave it two point:

  • Looking at writing on different multitudes
    • Of course there is a such thing of writing outside the world of academia (Happy National Day on Writing!). As I like to continue to stress, there is writing on so many different platforms and our students are not introduce to it. Of course, these piece of information is a bit dated, but it still applies to our students today!
  • “You can write a successful theses but not a journal article”

What is WAC?

This acumen of WAC conitnued to appear throughout the reading, so I though it noeworthy to jot it down in my notes. So when coming back to my notes, I set a reminder to look up what it means.

In its simplest form, Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) recognizes and supports the use of writing in any and every way and in every and any course offered at a learning institution. A WAC Program in its simplest term is any organized, recognized, and sustained effort–no matter how modest in people, resources, and funding–to help faculty in any and every course use writing more deliberately and more often. https://wac.colostate.edu/resources/wac/intro/programs/

This program reminds me a lot of my current program, AmeriCorps. As said in the article, WAC is a grant funded program that is meant to produce results in bettering students writing assessments. Depending on these results will determine future funding. The same aspects going into AmeriCorps. A government funded program designed to improve students writing and reading abilities.

From the reading, Yancey propsed the three purposes of Program Assesments as the following:

  • To see what the program is doing well in
  • To determine how the program might improve
  • To demonstrate to others why the program should continue to be funded

The Current Moment

To end my blog, I thought that addressing some of the minor themes about The Current Moment would be quite fitting.

  • Consider how writing and critical thinking are related
    • I am sorry, but this theme here is a no brainier. So many assessments are looking for the product and not the thought process nehind it. Critical thinking is esence, spirt, amd soul behind true writing. If there is not any cirtical thinking behind writing, then we producing one in the same kind of writers.
  • Social inequalities (racial inequities)
    • I thought I would give a little example of this from a hand for my World Englishes course (As you can tell, I really enjoy this course!). To the write of this passage is a handout about a woman who starts her own business. As a class we identified the Formal Schemata for this writing. Then we had to look at in a perspective of a global setting. In most cultural outside of the US, most of the actions being down in this writing is outside of their cultural norms. How do we expect them to relate to a reading they never experienced?

Author:

Educator|Mentor|Artist|Aspiring Traveler|Student "Make a difference about something other than yourself." - Toni Morrison "Be the person you needed growing up."

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