Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crafting Upper Division Writing Assessment

I've moved from being director of first-year writing to being director of upper division writing, and I am working on a pilot assessment procedure. Our department has expanded its 300 level offerings considerably, and we don't have a history of assessing these types of courses. I'm working from Bob Broad's What We Really Value and trying to craft a procedure that will work for our situation.

That's probably a lot of background information only slightly connected to what I wanted to write about. As I was figuring out the procedure, I started imaging the ideal 300 level portfolio.

1. Students should include everything. Get them into the habit of keeping track of their work, starting a filing system, organizing their electronic work in a coherent and manageable way. We could ask for "everything" in both print and e-format.
2. Everything might include short, non-revisable work, longer revisable projects, and the earlier drafts of those projects.
3. Revision--what do we want to teach? I wonder if we should require that students a) revise their lowest grade and b) revise one document radically. Try to get at a) the process of significant revision and b) the process or remediation, re-genrification (good new word?), transmediafication (another kind of remediation?).

Okay, back to crafting the portfolio assessment. I just wasn't sure where I wanted to store these portfolio ideas.

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