Institution: Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota (the College)
Type of Writing Program: Vertical writing program includes opportunities in first year writing and first year seminar, as well as mid-level and upper-level writing-rich courses in the disciplines and involvement in co-curricular programs connected to writing.
Contact information: Peggy Johnson, PhD
Director, Office of College Writing
Overarching Assessment Research Question: How can assessment methods help modify writing opportunities to achieve Saint Mary’s institutional writing goals?
Institutional Writing Goals
Upon graduation, students will be able to:
- Consider audience and purpose
- Use evidence effectively
- Apply critical reasoning and creativity
- Choose appropriate language and style
- Follow the conventions of a particular discipline
Best practices inform this plan for assessing writing in the following ways:
- An emphasis on diversity: Assessment methods are appropriate, fair, valid, and reliable, and they consider the range of needs of student learners.
- A clarification of purpose: Assessment methods are used for the development of teaching and learning and not solely to meet outcomes for accreditation, nor are assessment methods used to evaluate instructors.
- A statement of ethics: Assessment methods are responsive to the diversity of student writers at Saint Mary’s. A range of ethical assessment methods, including classroom assessment and student agency, are used to ensure students are not disadvantaged.
- A focus on opportunity: Assessment methods promote ways to advance learning for all stakeholders involved in teaching writing.
*This plan for assessing writing, which encourages both low stakes and high stakes writing experiences, is locally designed and implemented, is performance-based, and is directly tied to improving teaching practice.
* This plan is not intended to address every goal for every student every semester; rather, the intention of this plan is to use data from a sample of students on a rotating basis to address assessment of institutional goals.
|Writing Experience by level||First Year Writing in the first year experience||Anchor Course in the first year experience||Mid-level writing-rich disciplinary course||Upper-level writing-rich disciplinary course||Inter-disciplinary Minor (??)||Co-curricular programs connected to writing|
|Description of writing opportunity||Introductory college writing tasks||Introductory disciplinary writing experience||Sequenced writing assignments||Sustained writing & research assignment||Collaborative writing project||Skills applied to the larger community setting|
|Targeted learning outcome for each level will rotate based on institutional goals|
|Data Collection||Instructor collects samples of student writing||OCW collects writing assignments with faculty permission||Instructor collects samples of student writing||Instructor collects samples of student writing||Instructor collects samples of student writing||OCW collects data via surveys of program participants|
|Data Analysis||Analysis based on targeeted learning outcome||Analyze how disciplinary writing is introduced||Analysis based on targeted learning outcome||Analysis based on targeted learning outcome||Analysis based on targeted learning outcome||Analyze participants’ growth in interpersonal skills|
|Large scale sharing of data findings||Information presented to stakeholders, initiating discussion||OCW presents information to stakeholders, initiating discussion||Information presented to stakeholders, initiating discussion||Information presented to stakeholders, initiating discussion||Information presented to stakeholders, initiating discussion||Information presented to WAG, initiating discussion|
|Large scale stakeholder brainstorming of data findings and selection of strategies for improvement (feedback loop)|
|Implementation of new strategies (closing the loop)|
|Teaching and Learning Process: Faculty development opportunities at each level|
|Large scale celebration of new knowledge|