Week 3 Class 2011

January 18,

I. Housekeeping a. Reviews are now due after WRAB (Feb. 17-20); reviews are due on the Sunday of Week 8. b. Explanation of WRAB as conference that values empirical data (not just philosophical); includes international scholars c. Writing Center Associations – last week, we did discuss some of the associations (e.g. IRWCA) II. Discussion of readings; this week and last a. Questions on the board i. Rhetorical model vs. WAC/WID model 1. Rhetorical – Aristotelian tradition; persuasive techniques and genre forms transferable across the curriculum 2. WAC/WID – less emphasis on form; many questions and debates about what WAC/WID is, what you value in terms of writ instruction? a. Problem – who gets to determine budget? Who are the stakeholders? How do you claim a budget when you are a budget anomaly (e.g. a Writing Program is not necessarily a department that gets funding for a major) b. WAC coordinator is assessed by how well she works with faculty, TAs, levels of students c. Once you have a program, how do you assess it? ii. Portfolio – why important? Why value? 1. Portfolios are one answer to the question of program assessment. 2. Discussion of many types of portfolios (the term is problematic) 3. Research problem: What, specifically, quantitatively, do we (researchers) look for when we are looking for change in student writing? 4. Harvard and Stanford studies are only large-scale longitudinal studies of writing improvement 5. Coders note student awareness of audience, citations for creating argument, disciplinary voices, etc. 6. Note: look at Paul Rogers’ dissertation, Doug Hesse’s Univ of Denver, etc. iii. ePortfolio – grad schools really want? Everything available via the portfolio? iv. How hard is it to evaluate outcomes for writing-related

tasks? Competition with other fields? What counts as evidence? 1. Combine techniques of holistic grading and specific coding. However, coding takes time and resources (unrealistic for large-scale) 2. Interview students and faculty about changes in students’ writing; are there assignments that throw students off, are there skills that students repeatedly mistake? 3. Surveys of job-preparedness for graduates v. Would dept report be useful to budget people? vi. What is the relationship between curriculum & assessment?

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