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Writing Assessment in Colleges and Universities

Illinois State University Course Number: English 494, Section 1
Semester: Spring 2013
Instructor: Bob Broad, Professor of English
Course meeting times: Tuesdays 5:30 to 8:20 p.m.
Course meeting places: Stevenson 132 (and computer lab STV 250-E)

Course Overview

This course helps participants build and apply their knowledge of the history, theory, and practice of writing assessment in colleges and universities. Topics and themes for the course will range from classroom concerns like assigning, responding to, and grading students' writing to such programmatic issues as large-scale writing assessment (including administration of placement and proficiency exams) and evaluation of writing across the curriculum.

Writing assessment is the foremost arena in which the discourse of English Studies, which (following Robert Scholes) I would dub "textuality" meets the discourses of science and politics. For over a hundred years, humanists, scientists, and politicians (among others) have struggled for control over how student-authored texts will be valued. The struggle continues and, perhaps surprisingly, the humanists are holding their own. Stay tuned.

We will delve into some or all of the following topics:

Course Format

Participants in this class may collectively or individually author reviews of books on the topic of writing sssessment for the Journal of Writing Assessment's "Reading List."  We will also likely submit one or more proposals for panel discussions and/or workshops to be presented at the CCCC 2014 conference (March 19-22, 2014, Indianapolis, IN).  Beyond these academic outreach efforts, we will read books and articles about writing assessment. We will write informally and formally, and share our readings, writings, resources, and ideas during class meetings. In addition to establishing a broad basis of professional knowledge regarding the evaluation of writing, course participants will conduct individual or collaborative research studies (empirical and/or textual) on a particular aspect of writing assessment. These research studies should be closely linked to participants' plans for future teaching, internships, theses, dissertations, articles, books, and other professional responsibilities. Finally, participants in this class will undertake a communal change project by which we attempt to apply our shared knowledge and hope in order to change the world for the better.



Check the links below for more information.


  Calendar Readings Course Portfolio
  Bob Broad's Teaching Page Bob Broad's Home Page  


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November y, 2012. 

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Copyright 2013 Bob Broad