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Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

Linda Adler-Kassner

Publication Year: 2010

Adler-Kassner and O'Neill show writing faculty and administrators how to frame discussions of writing assessment so that they accurately represent research-based practices, and promote assessments that are valid, reliable, and discipline-appropriate.

Public discourse about writing instruction is currently driven by ideas of what instructors and programs “need to do,” “should do,” or “are not doing,” and is based on poorly informed concepts of correctness and unfounded claims about a broad decline in educational quality. This discussion needs to be reframed, say Adler-Kassner and O'Neill, to help policymakers understand that the purpose of writing instruction is to help students develop critical thinking, reading, and writing strategies that will form the foundation for their future educations, professional careers, and civic engagement.

            Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning is grounded in the best of writing assessment research, and focuses on how to communicate it effectively to publics beyond academe.


Published by: Utah State University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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p. v

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p. vii

We first began collaborating as part of the Network for Media Action, a component of the Council of Writing Program Administrators dedicated to developing strategies for program directors and writing instructors to participate in public conversations about writing. ...

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1. Higher Education, Framing, and Writing Assessment

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pp. 1-12

In listening to the conversations on campus, this program director feels there is an implicit message that the test would be a way of marketing the school as a “first-rate institution.” Although no one explicitly discusses the CLA as an assessment of writing (instead, they say, it is an indication of critical thinking skills), ...

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2. Framing (and) American Education

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pp. 13-39

In chapter one, we suggested that postsecondary writing instruction and writing assessment orbits are at the center of a very large galaxy that includes questions about the purpose of a college education, expectations of “productive” citizens, and, ultimately, the nation’s successful progress. ...

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3. The Framing of Composition and Writing Assessment

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pp. 40-80

In chapter two, we discussed how the current frame surrounding stories of American education perpetuates and builds upon existing tales of the purpose of school. This frame currently shapes a dominant story about postsecondary education focusing on “preparation for college and career,” ...

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4. Reframing Strategies and Techniques

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pp. 81-109

In chapter two, we described the current frames surrounding discussions of higher education, and stories linked to them. Their central concepts, conveyed in words and phrases like “preparedness” and “college and career readiness” are linked to a number of broader, interrelated stories. ...

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5. Reframing in Action

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pp. 110-144

So far, we have been discussing the issue of reframing writing assessment through historical and theoretical lenses, and describing some processes writing instructors might use for reframing. In this chapter, we move away from abstract discussions to examine how reframing works in the complexity and messiness of the real world. ...

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6. Reframing Assessment: Why Does My Participation Matter?

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pp. 145-178

In the last chapter, we saw how writing instructors and program administrators in different types of institutions and programs have used a variety of strategies to reframe writing assessment on their campuses. We also demonstrated how the efforts of these writing professionals reflect a number of the strategies ...

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7. Reimagining Writing Assessment

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pp. 179-191

Throughout this book, we’ve discussed the ways that frames and framing shape individual and group perceptions of what is “commonsensical” and what is outside of the boundaries of “common sense.” From communication studies and linguistics (Carey 1989; Hall 1983; Hanks 1995; Ryan 1991), to literature and literary criticism ...


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pp. 192-204


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pp. 205-207

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About the Authors

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p. 208

Linda Adler-Kassner is professor of writing and director of the writing program at University of California, Santa Barbara, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate writing courses. Through 2011, she is also the President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators and served an additional five years ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780874217995
E-ISBN-10: 0874217997
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874217988
Print-ISBN-10: 0874217989

Page Count: 207
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 666822895
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Reframing Writing Assessment to Improve Teaching and Learning

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Grading and marking (Students).
  • Report writing -- Evaluation.
  • College prose -- Evaluation.
  • English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching.
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