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Re: Writing and exit exams


Jennifer Hicks <[log in to unmask]>


Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals <[log in to unmask]>


Mon, 11 Dec 1995 11:02:49 -0500





text/plain (64 lines)

Donna Alden asked
>For instance, do you do a written essay test that is pass/fail?  A portfolio?
>Do students pass based on the teachers'assessment of them? Is there a
>If you do a written test at the semester's end, what are the logistics?
>For example, do they do it spontaneously?  By hand or computer?  Out of
>class?  If they fail, is there a fall-back assessment procedure?  Is
>there one topic?
>If you do a portfolio, how does that work?  Do you read portfolios of
>every student?  What is in the portfolio?  What is your timeframe for
>reading these?
>Have you defined standards for these essays?  How do you manipulate
>strengths and weaknesses in critical thinking, grammar, and content
>development and support?
>The bottom line question:  Is your assessment tool one that assesses
>students as its main purpose or does it assess your writing program as
>its main purpose?
Donna Alden
Here, at Mass Bay Community College, we have had an exit assessment in place
for the past five years.  It is a two part affair involving a four hour timed
writing sample based on a packet of 6 - 7 articles distributed 2 weeks prior to
the assessment; the second part is a student's portolio which contains three
essays written over the course of the term.
We have 7 levels of composition that a student may place into based on the
results of a placement test (a 75 minute writing sample where students read
three brief articles and respond to a prompt).  All samples are read
holisitically by at least two trained readers; students must take the course
they place into and they progress into the next course (or above) based on
their end of term assessment which is separate from the course grade that the
instructor gives.

All assessments, whether placement, timed exit, or portfolio, are read by a
majority of the faculty and when read, are anonymous.  We have no idea of the
student's name or the course/level they are currently in.  This has been
invaluable in checking our own biases.

Logistically, students have a two week period at the end of the semester,
where they may take the