ERIC Number: ED228270
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: 0
Designing Writing Assessments: Balancing Fairness, Utility, and Cost.
Quellmalz, Edys S.
Mounting concern for student achievement in writing has refocused attention on the features of writing assessment necessary to represent a student's skill fairly, usefully and economically. If writing tests are to fulfill their intended function, the writing assignments and evaluative criteria of large scale tests and instruction must interrelate. Current practices are increasingly criticized regarding relevance to realistic writing situations, utility for forming decisions about individual competence or program effectiveness, fairness, and legality for sanctioning exit requirements. State and district writing assessments should re-evaluate their methods considering alternatives proposed by recent writing theory and research. Specifying writing goals which distinguish between minimum functional goals and desirable goals of competence may improve the logic, utility and fairness of test procedures. Appropriate writing tasks should be designed to provide a full rhetorical context, and time to engage in all parts of the writing process. An integrated instructional system which targets particular writing elements as important basic competencies would involve teachers and evaluators in specification of rating criteria--whether holistic judgments or several separate analytic scores. The technical quality of rating criteria is a problem of scale stability and validity. Cost concerns should not outweigh concerns for fairness and utility. (CM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.