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Writing Assessment Technologies

This presentation explores the question: "what is writing assessment?"
by

Asao Inoue

on 28 March 2013

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Transcript of Writing Assessment Technologies

Writing Assessment as Technology Technologies are generative or productive. (1) test-maker who designs a writing topic or prompt
(2) test-taker who reads and interprets the topic, then writes a response to the topic
(3) test-rater who reads and interprets both the initial topic and the response in order to produce a rating or score Ruth and Murphy’s “writing assessment episode” (1988, p. 129) Omi and Winant define “racial projects” (1994, p. 56) "Simultaneously an interpretation, representation, or explanation of racial dynamics, and an effort to reorganize and redistribute resources along particular racial lines. Racial projects connect what race means in a particular discursive practice and the ways in which both social structures and everyday experiences are racially organize, based upon that meaning." “Racial Minorities and Writing Skills Assessment in the California State University and Colleges" by Ed White and Leon Thomas (1981) Test of Standard Written English
(TSWE)

- indirect test of writing
- multiple choice English Placement Test
(EPT)

- direct test of writing
- timed writing with multiple choice Poe, Mya, and Asao B. Inoue. “Racial Formations in Two Writing Assessments: Revisiting White and Thomas’ Findings on the English Placement Test After Thirty Years.” (co-written with Mya Poe). Writing Assessment in the 21st Century: Essays in Honor of Edward M. White, Eds. Norbert Elliot and Les Perelman, (2012, Hampton Press). Asao B. Inoue
ainoue@csufresno.edu Huot, B. (2002). (Re)Articulating writing assessment for teaching and learning. Logan, UT: Utah State UP.

Huot, B., and Neal, M. (2006). Writing assessment: A techno-history. In MacArthur, C., Graham, S, and Fitzgerald, J (Eds.), Handbook of writing research (pp. 417-32). New York and London: Guilford.

Madaus, G. (1990). Testing as a social technology: The inaugural Boisi lecture in education and public policy. Boston: Center for the Study of Testing Evaluation and Educational Policy, Boston College.

Madaus, G. (1993). A national testing system: Manna from above?: An historical/technological perspective. Educational Measurement, 1(1), 9-26.

Madaus, G., and Horn C. (2000). Testing technology: The need for oversight. In Filer, A. (Ed.), Assessment: Social practice and social product. (pp. 47-66). London and New York: Routledge/Falmer.

Neal, M. (2011). Writing assessment and the revolution in digital texts and technologies. New York: Teachers College Press.

O’Neill, P. A. (1998). Writing assessment and the disciplinarity of composition. Dissertation. University of Louisville. Past Scholarship that Discusses "Testing" or Assessment as Technology Inoue, A. B. (2009). “The Technology Of Writing Assessment And Racial Validity.” Handbook of Research on Assessment Technologies, Methods, and Applications in Higher Education (pp. 97-120). Ed. Christopher S. Schreiner. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Antonio Gramsci's concept of "hegemony" and "historical bloc" hegemony, an historically based set of conflicts or clashes of interests among social groups and forces that produce

- coercion
- consent

which usually produces benefits for a dominant group. Technology's Parts (taken from Andrew Feenberg's definition of Technology) - artifacts
- technical codes
- values and rules
- rationalities
- biases toward hegemony Feenberg’s “bias” draws on Herbert Marcuse, who explains: “Technology, as a mode of production, as the totality of instruments, devices and contrivances which characterize the machine age is thus at the same time a mode of organizing and perpetuating (or changing) social relationships, a manifestation of prevalent thought and behavior patterns, an instrument for control and domination” (1998, p. 41). This is strikingly similar to Gramsci’s theorizing of historical bloc and hegemony. From
Feenberg, A. (1991). Critical theory of technology. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. Writing assessment as a technology is an historically and materially situated, hegemonic environment, a process in which power is made, used, and, transformed, that consists of sets of artifacts and technical codes, manipulated by institutionally-sanctioned agents, constructed for particular purposes that have relations to abstract ideas, concepts, people, and places, and whose products, its effects or outcomes, shape and are shaped by, the racial, class-based, gender, and other socio-political arrangements in its particular place or context. Inoue, A. B. (2012). “Grading Contracts: Assessing Their Effectiveness on Different Racial Formations.” In Inoue, A. B. and M. Poe (Eds.), Race and Writing Assessment. New York: Peter Lang. p. 87. Hmong write well in portfolios and expressed high rates of effectiveness, happiness with, and preference for the grading contract This class is different, with this class I was able to write more freely because what is important in this class is the time and effort that we put into our project. I'm not a very good writer, so my biggest challenge at the beginning of the class was being afraid I wasn't going to meet the expectations of this class. I learned that when you're not judged by how good you can write, you're able to do more with your writing. Amy (Hmong writing student): Potter's solutions to the grading problem:

"[T]hink of assignments that allow your students to write about things they really care about."

"Imagine some ways to help them [students] participate in the evaluation process."

"[D]on’t assign papers or exams that you don’t want to read.

"Worry less about grade inflation than about your own role in creating assignments that give students very little scope or encouragement for revealing what they really think about." Potter, Claire. (2012). "Grading In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction." The Chronicle. Dec. 28. Chronicle.com. Davidson concludes:

"Here’s the punch line for college profs out there: We will not eliminate the grade-grubbing until we change our current educational system. Until then, we will need to be putting up with a lot of whining by students who have mastered the system that educators and policy makers have created for them. "

"Here’s the punch line for college students out there: Until you educate yourself beyond the assumptions of the system we’ve foisted off on you, you’ll be depriving yourself of the real skills and knowledge that constitute the only educational test worth anything: the test of how well your formal education prepares you for success in everything else. Cherish the great seminar teacher, even if she gives you a B-. It’s what went on inside that classroom—not the grade at the end of it—that truly constitutes achievement in the world beyond school." Davidson, Cathy. (2012). "Why Students Today Complain About Grades—and How We Can Fix It." HASTAC. Dec. 27. hastac.org. structure
(practices) superstructure
(theory, reflection, talking about practices) historical bloc, a dialectical, "interrelated and reciprical" unity that create

- values and theories
- daily practices Gramsci, A. (2000). The Gramsci reader: Selected writings 1916-1935. Forgacs, D. (Ed.). (Q. Hoare and G. Nowell-Smith, trans.). New York: New York University Press. (Original translation published 1971). to participate in the survey:
phone/tablet app: Socrative Student
web site: m.socrative.com
ROOM 192876 Writing Assessment Technologies: Theorizing for the Transformation of Writing Students, Pedagogies, and Programs Some Histories of Assessment Elliott, N. (2005). On A Scale: A Social History of Writing Assessment in America. New York: Peter Lang.

Hanson, F. A. (1993). Testing testing: Social consequences of the examined life. Berkeley: U of California Press.

Miller, S. (1991). Textual carnivals: The politics of composition. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Ohmann, R. (1976). English in America: A Radical View of the Profession. Hanover, NH: Wesleyan.

Berlin, J. (1987). Rhetoric and reality: writing instruction in American colleges, 1900-1985. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
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