ERIC Number: ED279381
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Feb-24
Reference Count: 0
The Experience of One Two-Year English Department with Cooperative Exit Testing.
Sloniker, Hurst R.
In spring 1984, the Language Arts Department of University College, University of Cincinnati, began requiring all third-term Freshman English students to pass an exit test in order to receive credit for their final English course. The exit exam, which was part of a joint effort with the other five English Departments within the University, requires the student to write a complete essay in a 2-hour period on a persuasive topic (e.g., smoking in the workplace and mandatory drug testing for employees). Approximately 10 days before the exam date, students are given a set of readings reflecting differing points of view on a given issue. At the exam, the students are given the question and asked to support their position with references to the readings and personal experience. Each exam is graded holistically for minimal competency in content, structure, style, and mechanics. Freshman English faculty have offered the following observations about the exit exam: (1) faculty must "teach to the exam"; (2) there is too much emphasis on test-taking skills; (3) there is too much variance in grading standards among faculty marking the exams; (4) there is a welcome emphasis on common goals and standards throughout the program; (5) more faculty dialogue about composition instruction has been initiated; and (6) students are taking the composition class more seriously. Appendices include recommended expectations for students completing the Freshman English sequence; budget information; a sample exam question; exam instructions; an evaluation scale and form; and exam data. (EJV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Cincinnati Univ., OH. Univ. Coll.