To Assess Students’ Improvement, Repeat the Writing Prompt

September 2014 calendarWouldn’t it be great to have a way to assess students’ writing improvement without relying on bubble tests?

You can have one.

And you don’t have to spend hours or a fortune to do it.

Materials you need

    • A clear statement of your annual (or course) writing objectives.
    • A grading rubric that incorporates the standards in your objectives.
    • An authentic and tested writing prompt calling for middle- to higher-level learning from the students to whom the objectives apply.

June 2015 calendar

The assessment must be a writing prompt that cannot be answered with memorized material. In other words, the writing prompt must call for application, at minimum, but preferably for analysis, synthesis or evaluation.

This procedure can be adapted for advanced classes by giving students a general topic in advance. This allows them time for study and research. They get the actual writing prompt at the assessment session.

This article originally appeared in the August, 2009, issue of  Writing Points,  ©2009 Linda Aragoni