ERIC Number: ED235496
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Testing Basic Writers' Proficiency: An Effective Model.
Kiefer, Kathleen E.
The writing test at Colorado State University determines which students move from basic composition into the college composition course. Initially, all incoming students take a placement test similar to the holistically scored writing tests administered by the Educational Testing Service. This placement test, along with other information, provides generalizations about the students' skills and deficiencies. Once appropriately placed, students in the basic writing course find themselves focusing on writing skills--generating ideas, organizing them to communicate clearly to readers, developing them fully to convince readers, and editing them to reduce distractions. As a pretest at the beginning of the semester, students write an essay on an accessible topic in one hour. At the end of the semester, students are asked to write on a parallel topic. Because of the pretesting and posttesting, instructors can compare skills at the beginning and end of the semester and can evaluate skills that are expected of any student completing the basic course. Failing tests are examined along with other writing the weak students have produced during the semester. If students fail the final exam because of limited but consistent problems that they have begun to master in the final weeks of the semester, they are usually passed with hopes that they will master specific skills early in the next semester. Instructors of subsequent composition classes have applauded this testing process since it guarantees them more homogeneous classes. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Freshman Composition
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Wyoming Conference on Freshman and Sophomore English (Laramie, WY, June 27-July 1, 1983).