NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ985789
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Placing Students in Writing Classes: One University's Experience with a Modified Version of Directed Self Placement
Balay, Anne; Nelson, Karl
Composition Forum, v25 Spr 2012
This article discusses our university's attempt to analyze whether our system of First Year Writing placement serves the needs of our diverse student body. The theory behind Directed Self Placement (DSP) is appealing, so our program adopted a modified version of it, and after several years, decided to evaluate it quantitatively. The authors, a First Year Writing professor and a psychologist trained in statistical analysis, teamed up to gather and analyze data. We sorted our sample by course grade, standardized test scores, gender, race, and prior course grades, running regressions and searching for correlations between these data and our DSP matrix. Our research shows that DSP in the modified form of our placement matrix does not predict student success as measured by First Year Writing grades as well as simple standardized test scores do. Though placing students using test scores alone has limitations, we conclude that DSP, at least in the simplified form in which we use it, does not correct for these limitations, and therefore is not preferable. (Contains 3 notes, 2 tables and 1 figure.)
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment; SAT (College Admission Test)