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Effective Writing

CALL: Collaborative Assessment for Liberal Learning
April 7-8, 2006 Conference
Northfield, MN

Inter-Institutional Team Report

Report from the Inter-Institutional Team on Effective Writing

Regarding an inter-institutional operational definition of the learning outcome you are examining: (i.e. A student who is proficient in [this outcome] does the following things fairly well and with reasonable consistency in educational activities and assignments.):

What have you agreed on?

  • A common definition: Effective writing is the result of a process of drafting, editing, and revising that helps to create a self-aware writer. The self-aware writer has control over mechanics and rhetoric and is also engaged with the material and understands the pleasure of discovery.
  • Students need to be informed and aware of assessments
  • Cost
  • CLA and portfolios are in circulation along with sampling of senior-level work
  • Assessment should yield improved faculty development

What haven’t you agreed on? What’s still up in the air?
  • Interpreting CLA results
  • Interpreting quantitative results used at Grinnell
  • Obtaining resources for good assessment
  • Value of external and internal assessments – effective use, faculty resistance/fears
  • Difficulty of assessing process and outcomes

Is there anything you’ve agreed you are not going to agree on?
That “effective” is the right descriptor for writing.

What next? What do you need to continue your work?

  • Money
  • More frequent meetings
  • Is there grant money to send team members to other campuses?