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ERIC Number: EJ1090978
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1543-4303
Assessing Writing in Elementary Schools: Moving Away from a Focus on Mechanics
Casey, Laura B.; Miller, Neal D.; Stockton, Michelle B.; Justice, William V.
Language Assessment Quarterly, v13 n1 p42-54 2016
Many students struggle with writing; however, curriculum-based measures (CBM) of writing often use assessment criteria that focus primarily on mechanics. When academic development is assessed in this way, more complex aspects of a student's writing, such as the expression and development of ideas, may be neglected. The current study was a preliminary analysis of viability of the words per thought unit (T-unit) as an alternative to traditional approaches to writing assessment. Participants included 167 children enrolled in the fourth and fifth grade, ages 9-11, in a rural southeastern U.S. school district. Writing samples were collected in three probes across the school year (fall, winter, and spring) and analyzed by using a variety of measures. Words per T-unit were positively linearly correlated with other measures of literary proficiency. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) assessed growth in writing across time and grade. Results indicated a statistically significant time effect within subjects for words per T-unit across grades. Thus, the analysis of words per T-unit yielded promising results as an efficient means of measuring writing skills independently of mechanics.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Intermediate Grades; Grade 5; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A