Assessing Essay

Assessing Essay-37
Much of the work of Writing Program Administration and scholarship in the field is tied to assessment– and a lot (most?

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As a teacher, I have to remind myself about that all the time.a student who wrote a whole page of the letter “b” ended up with a good score.Other students have figured out that they could do well writing one really good paragraph and just copying that four times to make a five-paragraph essay that scores well.NPR had a story on Weekend Edition last week, “More States Opting to ‘Robo-Grade” Student Essays By Computer,” that got some attention from other comp/rhet folks though not as much as I thought it might.Essentially, the story is about the use of computers to “assess” (really “rate,” but I’ll get to that in a second) student writing on standardized tests.For most college students, papers (or essays) are training for white collar careers to learn how to complete required office paperwork.Second, while it is true that robo-grading standardized tests does not help anyone learn how to write, the most visible aspect of writing pedagogy to people who have no expertise in teaching (beyond experience as a student, of course) is not the teaching but the assessment.” Furthermore, as the NPR story points out, this software can be tricked.Les Perleman has been demonstrating for years how these robo-graders can be fooled, though I have to say I am a lot more impressed with the ingenuity shown by some students in Utah who found ways to “game” the system: “One year…I am not one to speak about the “kids today” because I’ve been teaching long enough to know students now are not a whole lot different than they were 30 years ago.But one thing I’ve noticed in recent years– I think because of “No Child Left Behind” and similar efforts– is the extent to which students nowadays seem puzzled about embarking on almost any writing assignment without a detailed rubric to follow.


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