Author Topic: Writing assessment literacy for teachers  (Read 472 times)

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Offline Krystie

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Writing assessment literacy for teachers
« on: March 01, 2017, 09:32:30 PM »

This 2016 article by Deborah Crusan, Lia Plakans and Atta Gebril details a study the authors conducted concerning writing teachers' assessment knowledge, beliefs and practices. They surveyed 702 second language writing instructors to investigate how and where teachers had undertaken training in writing assessment. What they found was that, although many teachers reported receiving training through graduate courses, workshops, and conference presentations, 26% of those surveyed had received very little or no training at all. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis the authors conducted of the responses showed that while writing teachers have assessment as a sizable component of their workload, they lack confidence in how to do so effectively.

While this may not have to do directly with practices of assessment, I bring it up because the type and amount of training we teachers receive in assessment practices makes quite a difference in a) how we assess student writing and b) how confident we feel in assessing student writing. Lacking the skills or the confidence to assess writing effectively can make the job of teaching writing more overwhelming or frustrating than it needs to be, so we should be strive to be cognizant of our abilities and confidence, and to improve upon both of those whenever possible.

Offline kjoho

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Re: Writing assessment literacy for teachers
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 03:16:23 PM »
Wow this is really enlightening! I know in my own experience, teaching writing for one semester, assessment was one of my biggest challenges. Even though I met with my supervisor regularly for norming sessions and I had a clear understanding of our rubric system, I still felt like my judgement were very subjective. Assessment is often such a big part of our students' grades and, like you said, a big part of our workload as teachers. Obviously more research needs to be done in this field. Even still, the nature of writing doesn't lend itself to a one-size-fits-all type of assessment. There will always be some level of subjectivity as to what is competent writing. In this way, I think L2 writing instructors have it much easier than L1 writing instructors.

My questions from this point forward: Is there a way to normalize/standardize writing assessment without adhering to strict formulas? How can we as teacher boost our confidence in writing assessment so that we can be assured we are truly helping our students and measuring their abilities accurately? What types of research should be begin to engage in to further contribute to the research?

Thanks for a great, thought-provoking post Krystie!