ERIC Number: ED462708
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Mar
Rhetoric and Change: Using Writing Heuristics To Help English Faculty Accept and Use the "A" Word (Assessment).
Henning, Teresa B.
As a result of public pressure to assess student learning, college administrators are becoming more insistent in their demands that faculty members become involved in learning outcomes assessment. Most faculty members, however, think of assessment as another name for standardized testing--a procedure with little to do with the critical thinking and writing skills that they most value. Additionally, most college faculty feel "cut off from" the subject of assessment because they view assessment as something that does not "reflect the values important to an understanding of how people learn to read and write" (Huot, 1996). But if college faculty are given the opportunity to control the assessment process and shape it to reflect local concerns, such a process can be a "transformative experience" that allows faculty, especially those in English, to explain to themselves and others how and why humanistic values are such an important part of their students' education. This paper argues that, by conceiving of assessment as a process of gathering information, faculty members are able to view assessment as research, something they are comfortable with. The paper demonstrates, by considering the work of two faculty committees, that writing process heuristics can be used to help faculty members develop this procedural knowledge and meet their assessment goals. It relates how writing heuristics guided the work of these two committees. The paper first discusses methods used to help the "English 100" committee (mostly part-time teachers) develop portfolio assessment rubrics and then discusses the ways the "English Major" committee was helped to develop an entire assessment plan. (NKA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (53rd, Chicago, IL, March 20-23, 2002).