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ERIC Number: ED442113
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-15
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Wicked Old Witch Is Dead: Getting Rid of a Flawed Writing Exam.
Werder, Carmen M.
This paper reports on the myriad difficulties in getting rid of an unsatisfactory writing examination in place at Western Washington University. First, the paper provides background information on how and why the exam (the Junior Writing Exam) came to be adopted in the 1980s (as a diagnostic test only) and explains what the exam was meant to examine. Then, it recounts how the examination became a required pass in 1991, with a significant failure rate of 40% by 1992. The writing program directors tried to improve instructional support services and instructor training since the students who failed became demoralized and bitter. The drain on Writing Center resources became alarming, and the center's personnel were desperate for a solution. This "rising junior" test was finally replaced with a different type of exam, one that was not decontextualized and lacking validity but, instead, an authentic writing task. It finds that, instead of concentrating on fixing or eliminating an exam, educators at Western Washington are now launched on establishing an interdisciplinary community of inquiry involving faculty, administrators, and students as part of the Carnegie Campus Conversations Program. (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A