Designing Writing Assessments and Rubrics
Date: Thursday, November 14, 2013
- Webinar Handout and Pre-Webinar Activity (.docx / .pdf)
- Webinar Participant Questions-Answers (.docx / .pdf)
- PowerPoint Presentation (.pdf)
- Recording (Blackboard Collaborate)
In their quest for accountability in assessment, teachers might forget those to whom we should first be accountable: our students. Providing students with clear, accessible, and understandable assessment materials promotes accountability. Unfortunately, assessment of student writing is one of the tasks teachers worry about and, at times, nearly dread.
During this presentation, participants will learn procedures for developing tools for writing assessment that are transparent and understandable to students and that act as both teaching and assessment tools. We will first consider assignment criteria – what is it that we want our students to do? We will then consider the rubric, a grading instrument, which offers objectivity, consistency, clarity in assessing writing and concentrate on holistic, analytic, and to a lesser degree, primary trait assessment. We will also consider when and for what kinds of writing assignments each of these rubrics are most appropriate. Additionally, we will examine the components of rubrics (the criteria, the weight, the description) and the steps in creating a good rubric and how assignment criteria informs rubric creation.
Designing Writing Assessments and Rubrics will consider the issue of accountability in classroom assessment of writing. The absence of fair and transparent assessment often leads to student confusion, slows progress, assumptions of professorial arbitrariness, and quite possibly lack of trust in teacher-student relationships.
Deborah Crusan is professor of TESOL/Applied Linguistics at Wright State University, Dayton, OH. Her work has appeared in academic journals including Across the Disciplines, Assessing Writing, Companion to Language Assessment, Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics, English for Specific Purposes, Language Testing, TESOL Quarterly, The Norton Field Guide, and edited collections about second language writing. Her research interests include writing assessment particularly for placement of second language writers, writing teacher education, directed self-placement and its consequences for second language writers, and the politics of assessment. Her 2010 book, Assessment in the Second Language Writing Classroom, was published by University of Michigan Press.