Download A Guide to College Writing Assessment by Brian Huot, Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore PDF

By Brian Huot, Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore

Whereas such a lot English pros suppose happy with language and literacy theories, review theories appear extra alien. English pros usually don’t have a transparent realizing of the foremost innovations in academic size, reminiscent of validity and reliability, nor do they comprehend the statistical formulation linked to psychometrics. yet knowing evaluate theory—and utilizing it—by those people who are now not psychometricians is important in constructing worthy, moral tests in university writing courses, and in examining and utilizing review effects.

A advisor to varsity Writing Assessment is designed as an creation and resource ebook for WPAs, division chairs, lecturers, and directors. consistently cognizant of the serious elements of specific instructing contexts, O’Neill, Moore, and Huot have written subtle yet obtainable chapters at the heritage, thought, software and historical past of writing evaluate, they usually provide a dozen appendices of sensible samples and versions for more than a few universal overview wishes.

simply because there are lots of assets on hand to help school in assessing the writing of person scholars specifically school rooms, A advisor to varsity Writing review focuses on methods to the categories of overview that sometimes occur outdoors of person school rooms: placement assessment, go out exam, programmatic evaluation, and college overview. such a lot of all, the argument of this e-book is that growing the stipulations for significant university writing evaluate hinges not just on knowing the historical past and theories informing evaluate perform, but in addition on composition courses availing themselves of the entire variety of obtainable evaluation practices.

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For example, the creation of the CEEB in the early twentieth century—if not the beginning of formal writing assessment then certainly an important development—signalled some important trends, beliefs, and assumptions that continue with us today. The only tenant from Wilson Farrand’s proposal for the origination of the CEEB not accepted was to use input from the high schools along with testing information to make college admission decisions (Elliot 2005). As state-mandated writing assessments are now established for K–12 public institutions in all fifty states, the input from teachers is devalued and the influence of these assessments is visible in high school curricula and in teachers’ inservice (Hillocks 2002; Murphy 2003; O’Neill et al.

In this chapter, we aim to articulate the theories, both formalized schools of thought as well as more informal beliefs and assumptions, informing teaching and assessment practices to argue that effective, appropriate writing assessments need to be theoretically consistent with what linguists and educators know about language, literacy, and learning and what psychometric scholars posit about testing and assessment. We are not actually formulating the theory of writing assessment but rather explicating the general theoretical positions and the multiple disciplinary perspectives that are relevant for those engaged in writing assessment.

As Lee Cronbach notes, when validity was defined as the degree to which a test measures what it purports to measure, the focus was on the test’s truthfulness—did it do what it said it would? Later, alternative definitions that stated “that a test is valid if it serves the purpose for which it is used, raised a question about worth” (Cronbach 1988, 5). Construct validation introduced the question of whether or not a test was a worthy construct of the ability or trait being measured. Construct validity radically enlarged the scope of any investigation for test validity, although validity was never meant to be a process or concept that could be reified into separate categories or classes: “These aspects of validity can be discussed independently, but only for convenience” (APA, AERA, and NCME 1974, 26).

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