Student Writing Assessment Goals

The purposes of this assessment are to evaluate the effectiveness of the WAC program and to discern where improvements can be made. Individual students and faculty WILL NOT be assessed.  After students submit their materials, all data and scores will remain anonymous and confidential and will only be reported in aggregate form.

Class Selection

With assistance from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Analysis, a stratified random sample of course sections across days of the week and class times will be selected from the pool of FAU WAC courses. 

Faculty will not be asked to have their classes participate in the assessment process more than once every three years.

The Assessment Process

Before the term begins, the attached Explanation of WAC Study document will be distributed to faculty whose classes have been selected.  Faculty will be asked to relate the instructions for the assessment project to their students. Students will receive an email with information on their role in the assessment project and will be directed to the attached Online Consent Form. Each participant should anticipate spending approximately 15 minutes to complete the survey.  To participate, they will use their FAU email addresses and passwords for secure access to the submissions website. 

Students will  be asked to submit a first and final draft of an out-of-class paper (preferably written near the end of the term). After uploading the documents, students will then be asked to fill out an online survey, which includes some biographical data and reflections on changes they have made in their writing over the term. 

University Mandate

The University Faculty Senate has mandated that all students in classes selected to participate are required to complete the university assessment process; however, they may elect not to have their completed survey and paper submissions used for research purposes. Student participation in the publishable WAC study should not affect their grade for the course nor their G.P.A. in any way; however, instructors may elect to enforce a penalty for failure to participate in the university assessment process.

WAC Assessment Rubric

The following rubric is used for holistic evaluation of student papers. While departments are encouraged to use the assessment documents below as a model for creating their own, they are not required to do so; however, students must receive a copy of this rubric early in the semester so they will know the criteria by which their papers will be evaluated for the WAC program assessment study.

WAC Assessment Interface

We have custome built an interface to manage our assessment process and have honed it over the past 10 years of use.  If you are interested in seeing some of its functionality, take a look at some screen shots. It has enabled us to rate near-end-of-term thesis-driven papers using a uniform 11 trait scale across disciplines and all levels. Each paper is rated three times and scores are processed by taking either modes or averages of the three scores to gain highest degree of consistency and accuracy. We are currently writing an article on best practices of interrater reliability based on this system.