Thursday, December 22, 2011

College Writing Placement

Question: What would happen if college writing placement was assessed with untimed writing that allowed for invention and revision?

Answer/Quote: “No one, however, has yet published research directly comparing essays students have written for the SAT or ACT and the kind of writing students do in our classes—that is, in response to untimed writing tasks that allow for invention and revision.” P. 721.

Quote: “In response to our writing task, the students have to read carefully, interpret information, use note-taking and organizing skills, synthesize and compare information from different sources, decide what to use and what to discard,  and be able to explain the issue clearly to readers who have not studied it as the writers have.” P. 723.

Quote: “I would like to see other research investigating the differences in student performances on the ACT Essay or the SAT Essay and locally developed, untimed writing situations. I believe this research has implications for the use of timed writing samples as a measure of writing ability, but the question of which model more accurately predicts writing performance in academic writing situations still rests, like so much of what we do as writing teachers, on faith.” P. 741.

Comment: I wonder if research has been done on teachers’ assessment of accurate placement based on the timed tests? I’m thinking back to my days in the two-year college. The writing for freshman composition was definitely strong, most students were ready to learn and learned quickly, but I would not want to try to accurately describe its strengths and weaknesses. Too many variations in writing needs. In other words, the timed assessment seemed to work. RayS.

Title: “Online Challenge Versus Offline ACT?” I Peckham. College Composition and Communication (June 2010), 718-745.

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