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UWP 250 - Writing Assessment

 (4 units)

  1. Catalog Description

    Writing assessment encompasses the measurement of individual students’ writing as well as the evaluation of writing programs on institutional, state, and national levels. As an area of inquiry, writing assessment can be both contentious and exhilarating, in part because of the many different approaches to the subject. In this course, we will look at:
    • key testing and measurement concepts such as validity and reliability,
    • the history of writing assessment in American k-12 and postsecondary education environments,
    • the relationships among writing tests and methods of teaching writing,
    • the impacts of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) on writing assessment, and
    • how state and national educational policies both drive and respond to writing assessments.


      We will also examine classroom teachers’ evaluations of student projects, state-wide standards-based exams, the writing portion of the TOEFL, college entrance exams such as the SAT and ACT, the writing portions of professional school exams (GMAT and MCAT), and national assessment such as the NAEP. These samples will help us discuss the differences among direct and indirect writing assessments; holistic, analytic, and primary-trait scoring; and timed exams and portfolios.

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