WAC ASSESSMENT Student Information

If you are enrolled in a WAC-designated course, there is a chance that your class section might be randomly selected to participate in the program’s assessment.

All syllabi for WAC-designated courses contain the following statement:

If this class is selected to participate in the university-wide WAC assessment program, you will be required to access the online assessment server, complete the consent form and survey, and submit electronically a first and final draft of a near-end-of-term-paper.   

Every semester, about 15-20 sections are randomly selected by the office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analysis to participate in the WAC assessment. All students in those sections are required to participate.

The most frequently asked questions are listed below. If you have questions that are not answered here, please contact the WAC Director, Jeff Galin (jgalin@fau.edu), or the WAC Assistant Director, Julianne Zvolensky (jcurran3@fau.edu). 

The WAC program guarantees that students get writing instruction across the University disciplines. Thus, students have increased opportunities to improve their writing throughout their undergraduate careers. In fact, faculty receive special WAC training to help students improve writing and critical thinking skills. This assessment is designed to measure the overall success of the program and make improvements to further support student success. While it is a requirement to participate in this assessment, it is also a unique opportunity that you have to give the university some valuable feedback. 

The WAC program guarantees that students get writing instruction across the University disciplines and have increased opportunities to improve their writing throughout their undergraduate careers. This assessment is designed to measure the overall success of the program and make improvements to further support student success. 

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the WAC assessment?

The WAC assessment is designed to measure the overall success of the WAC program at FAU. WAC is a University-mandated writing program intended to enhance the State of Florida’s Gordon Rule requirement for writing and communication. The WAC program guarantees that writing instruction is provided across the University and across the disciplines. Therefore, students have increased opportunities to improve their writing throughout their undergraduate careers. The WAC assessment is part of WAC’s annual program review.

How do I know whether my class section was picked to participate in the WAC assessment?

You will receive an email from fau.wac.manager@gmail.com that tells you which section has been selected to participate in the assessment. It will also tell you your username and password to access the secured website. Do not respond to this email. If you have questions, contact the WAC Director, Jeff Galin (jgalin@fau.edu), or the WAC Assistant Director, Julianne Zvolensky (jcurran3@fau.edu).  

How long will it take me to participate?

Completing the assessment is fully online and should take about 15 minutes. 

How do I complete the WAC assessment?

Login to the WAC assessment website, http://wac.fau.edu. Use your FAU email as the username and Z number as password. Follow the prompts for the consent form, file uploads, and survey submission.

When do I have to complete my participation?

The deadline is the last day of as classes listed on the Academic Calendar. If your paper is due after the last day of classes, the deadline is the last day of the exam period.

I already participated in the WAC assessment in another semester. Do I have to participate again?

Yes. New sections are selected every semester and participation begins again. All WAC-designated sections every semester are eligible to participate.

I am in another WAC-designated section that was picked to participate in the assessment. Do I have to participate twice, once for each course?

Yes, you will participate twice, once for each course. However, the odds of being two sections participating in the WAC assessment in the same semester are low.

How are the papers that I submit to the WAC assessment website used?

Data collected from the assessment is used to make improvements to the WAC program and recommendations to departments with WAC courses. Examples might be new trainings for faculty or changes to departmental curriculum.

Do I have to write a new paper for this?

No. The assessment asks you to submit a paper you have already written. It should be a thesis-driven, research-based, near-end-of-term writing assignment. By “thesis-driven” we mean papers with a thesis in which you build a case for a particular analysis, interpretation, or evaluation of data that leads to recommendations or specific conclusions. “Reading-based” papers draw upon argument-driven articles or book chapters or in some cases works of literature. Typically, papers that are thesis-driven and reading-based are research projects of some kind.

How do I know what paper to submit?

The paper that you submit should be a thesis-driven, research-based, near-end-of-term writing assignment. By “thesis-driven” we mean papers with a thesis in which you build a case for a particular analysis, interpretation, or evaluation of data that leads to recommendations or specific conclusions. “Reading-based” papers draw upon argument-driven articles or book chapters or in some cases works of literature. Typically, papers that are thesis-driven and reading-based are research projects of some kind.
If you are unsure of what paper to submit, your teacher can help you identify an appropriate assignment.

How do I access the secured WAC assessment website?

Login to the WAC assessment website, http://wac.fau.edu. Use your FAU email as the username and Z number as password. Follow the prompts for the consent form, file uploads, and survey submission.

What do I do if I can’t access the WAC assessment website?

Contact the WAC Director, Jeff Galin (jgalin@fau.edu), or the WAC Assistant Director, Julianne Zvolensky (jcurran3@fau.edu). 

What happens to my paper once it is submitted to the website?

After the deadline, papers are downloaded from the secured website and all identifying information (name, course, section, teacher name, date, etc.) gets removed. Over the summer, trained raters use the WAC assessment rubric (available online) to score each paper according to the 14 items on the rubric. All scores are averaged together and reported to departments. No individual scores are reported.   

Who will be reading my paper?

Papers are read by the specially trained WAC raters. All raters are from FAU and have experience teaching WAC courses. Raters come from across disciplines and faculty rank.

How will my paper be evaluated?

Papers are evaluated based on the 14-item WAC assessment rubric, available on the WAC website.

Will my name be on my paper when it is evaluated?

No. All identifying information such as student names, teacher names, course/course section, and date is removed before anyone sees your paper.  

How are scores reported?

Scores are reported as averages to each department that has WAC-designated courses. No individual scores are reported.

Will I see my paper’s scores?

No. All scores are anonymous and scores for individual papers are not reported. All scores get reported as averages.

Will I get feedback on my paper?

No. Papers do not get feedback. They are only scored according to the WAC rubric. Scores for individual papers are not reported. All scores get reported as averages.

Will my teacher know whether I participate?

Yes. Faculty will be notified periodically to let them know who has or has not completed their participation.

Will my teacher see my paper’s scores?

No. All scores are anonymous and scores for individual papers are not reported. All scores get reported as averages.

Will my teacher know how I answered the survey about my writing assignment?

No. Survey responses are not reported.

What happens to my survey answers once they are submitted?

WAC uses survey data to identify areas for program improvement. Survey responses are not reported.

Is the WAC assessment going to affect my grade in the class or my GPA?

No. The WAC assessment is separate from your grade in your class and from your GPA. Some teachers might choose to make participation in the assessment an assignment or offer incentives like extra credit at their discretion.

Is participating in the WAC assessment the same thing as getting WAC credit on my transcript?

No. While both things are associated with the WAC program, they are separate components. Participation in the WAC assessment only applies to students enrolled in classes that have been randomly selected that semester. While required, participating in the WAC assessment does not impact your grade in the course or your GPA. Getting WAC credit marked on your transcript requires that you successfully earn a grade of C (not C minus), which will depend on your grade in the course and may have impact on your GPA.

I dropped this course. Do I still have to submit materials?

No. Please contact the WAC Director, Jeff Galin (jgalin@fau.edu), or the WAC Assistant Director, Julianne Zvolensky (jcurran3@fau.edu) to remove you from future reminder notifications.

Does my paper remain my intellectual property?

Yes. You do not surrender any ownership rights of your paper to WAC.

Will my paper be checked for plagiarism?

No. However, work in all courses should adhere to the standards set forth in the FAU Student Code of Conduct and reflect academic integrity.