ERIC Number: ED242771
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Assessing Students' Writing Skills: A Comparison of Direct & Indirect Methods.
Koffler, Stephen L.
This research examined the results from direct and indirect writing assessments to determine the most effective method of discrimination. The New Jersey State Department of Education developed a test for ninth-grade students which was designed to measure the ability to apply writing mechanics to written text and to communicate effectively in writing. The instrument combined direct and indirect assessment in a 54-item multiple choice section and a 30-minute essay. This minimum competency test measured minimum writing skills. Essays were holistically scored. Direct writing assessment requires writing samples by examinees to be read and scored by examiners. Indirect assessment requires examinees to respond to items which measure correlates of writing. Both methods are reliable assessments. In states which mandate that students pass a writing test as part of the requirements for receiving a high school diploma, the important criterion is which form of assessment discriminates best between competent and incompetent writers. Results of statistical analysis indicated the indirect assessment provides a better means of discrimination between competent and incompetent writers. However, a combination of both methods, creating a weighted total test score, is considered the most appropriate method. (DWH)
Descriptors: Comparative Analysis, Essay Tests, Evaluation Methods, Graduation Requirements, High School Students, High Schools, Minimum Competency Testing, Multiple Choice Tests, Performance Based Assessment, Scoring, State Programs, Test Construction, Testing Programs, Writing (Composition), Writing Evaluation, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New Jersey State Department of Education
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (68th, New Orleans, LA, April 23-27, 1984).