restricted access Writing Assessment in the Humanities: Culture and Methodology

This article examines methodological and institutional challenges for empirically measuring student performance on writing. Writing’s intrinsic subjectivity and the great variety of writing formats appropriate to diverse contexts raise fundamental questions about the empirical bias of the assessment culture taking root in U.S. higher education. At the same time, the academic training of humanist scholars, who typically have primary responsibility for writing pedagogy in universities, may predispose them to skepticism about assessment culture’s broader mission. This article narrates the process by which the Humanities Department at Lawrence Technological University implemented a writing assessment process designed to address these challenges and evaluates the data generated by this process.