Assessments In Progress

Student Self-Assessment Project

In Spring 2015, we’re going to be continuing work on a “self-assessment” project that experiments with ways to help students better understand how a genre/CHAT approach to practical writing research can be a useful way to both understand one’s own writing knowledge and gain knowledge about different genre situations. Our program-wide assessment (as well as other, current research in the field) indicates that the antecedent understanding of “school genres” students bring to the 101 classroom has a significant impact on the success of their uptake and transfer efforts. In addition, a pilot study that we completed (with Kayla Bruce and Laurenn Jarema) here at ISU indicated that an early exposure to their own lack of knowledge about diverse genres created a fairly clear impetus for students to attend to the intricacies of practical writing research as a way to become more adept at writing in multiple genres. Our self-assessment works to shape students’ attitudes toward the work of ENG 101. Students in both ENG 101 and ENG 101.10 will be completing the self-assessment, as well as a “control” group who will complete short pre/post surveys but will not participate in the assessment. We’ll have additional information about the self-assessment project available on our website by September 1st. Our goal is to work towards a program-wide self-assessment activity, but we expect that work to take several semesters. Those interested in participating in the project can email Joyce Walker (Program Director).

Longitudinal Study of Student Writers

In Fall 2015, we’re also going to continue conducting interviews with students who’ve taken ENG 101 at ISU, in an effort to better understand how students make use of the knowledge they gain in the course as they move on to other kinds of writing in school and workplace situations.  Our goal is to get students from three different semesters (Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and Fall 2015) to come back and share with us the writing they are working on, and reflect on how topics in ENG 101 might (or might not) be influencing how they approach writing as they move through their years at ISU.