Presenter Information

Patricia Valley

Location

Daytona Beach, Florida

Description

Listen long enough to faculty members at almost any university in the United States, and one will hear of the dismal writing skills exhibited by all too many students. Clearly, students who write poorly are illequipped for today's demands in industry and business, and their lack of writing ability may contribute to difficulty in reflecting on course content and in critical thinking. We know that writing often will not improve within the time confines of a single academic term; lower functioning students in particular tend to develop their writing skill over time. With so much at stake, it is vital that students improve this important skill in every course they take.

What should instructors do to help students improve their writing? What works? This paper presents strategies for the evaluation of student writing in ways that facilitate improvement. Principles of writing evaluation are identified, and insights gained from developmental writing classrooms and writing across the curriculum efforts are discussed. A presentation of informal assessment techniques such as selfevaluation, peer evaluation, and writing for revision describes a number of strategies for helping students to view writing as a process. rather than as a finished product that cannot be improved. Formal assessment of writing topics such as grading, ranking, analytic methods of evaluation, and holistic methods of evaluation, along with rubrics and descriptions of evaluative scales, provide useful tools for assessing written work in any content area. A brief outline of the affective domain and potential measures for student writers is included as well. The myriad of ideas presented here serves as a starting point for those who want to help their students be successful communicators.

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Writing Is A Verb, Not A Noun: Using Evaluation to Enhance Students' Writing Skills

Daytona Beach, Florida

Listen long enough to faculty members at almost any university in the United States, and one will hear of the dismal writing skills exhibited by all too many students. Clearly, students who write poorly are illequipped for today's demands in industry and business, and their lack of writing ability may contribute to difficulty in reflecting on course content and in critical thinking. We know that writing often will not improve within the time confines of a single academic term; lower functioning students in particular tend to develop their writing skill over time. With so much at stake, it is vital that students improve this important skill in every course they take.

What should instructors do to help students improve their writing? What works? This paper presents strategies for the evaluation of student writing in ways that facilitate improvement. Principles of writing evaluation are identified, and insights gained from developmental writing classrooms and writing across the curriculum efforts are discussed. A presentation of informal assessment techniques such as selfevaluation, peer evaluation, and writing for revision describes a number of strategies for helping students to view writing as a process. rather than as a finished product that cannot be improved. Formal assessment of writing topics such as grading, ranking, analytic methods of evaluation, and holistic methods of evaluation, along with rubrics and descriptions of evaluative scales, provide useful tools for assessing written work in any content area. A brief outline of the affective domain and potential measures for student writers is included as well. The myriad of ideas presented here serves as a starting point for those who want to help their students be successful communicators.