College Writing at Elon University

Program Assessment

English 110 Writing: Argument and Inquiry is assessed with three triangulated measures. Each semester, students complete an indirect assessment of English 110 using an online survey. During the fall semester, faculty also complete an indirect assessment as a gap analysis. In Fall 2007, the College Writing Advisory Committee developed a direct assessment both to satisfy Core Curriculum assessment needs and to triangulate the existing ENG 110 assessments.

The committee piloted the assessment in Fall 2007, and a full-scale direct assessment was implemented in Spring 2008, including all sections (32) of English 110 in order to establish a baseline for comparison with future assessment results. A spring faculty development workshop focused on informal norming for the direct assessment by facilitating program-wide discussion about how sample papers would be scored using the assessment items and 5-point scale.

Since Fall 2008, only half of the English 110 sections randomly selected have been included in the direct assessment. By assessing only a subset of sections, we can conduct the direct assessment each semester without causing faculty burnout. Since we use the results to inform faculty development workshops, maintaining faculty participation is important.

The direct assessment currently includes three items:

The first two items collectively assess students' work in support of Core Curriculum Goal 7: the preparation and presentation of ideas and information orally, visually, and in writing. Examined separately, the first two items also each correspond to an English 110 objective from the three common objectives shared by all sections of the multi-section course. The third item assesses students' work in support of Core Curriculum Goal 8: The analysis, interpretation, evaluation, and synthesis of information from multiple sources, a goal that contributes to sophisticated mastery of two of the English 110 objectives.

While other items will be assessed in the future, the English 110 direct assessment started with these three items because they are central to two of the three course objectives, in addition to contributing to the university's General Studies goals.

For more information about College Writing Program assessment, please contact the College Writing Coordinator.