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In: Assessing Writing, volume 12, Issue 3, 2007, pp.199-21


In 2004, the Department of Writing Studies at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, the U.S., began an assessment of student outcomes for two first-year writing courses (Fall 04 to Fall 05) to evaluate performance on previously established criteria. A study of the students’ Portfolio Assessment Sheets concluded that one pervasive problem was “Development” as determined partly by low A grades in the two courses. To engage the faculty (full-time and adjunct), the grades from Fall 04, Spring 05, and Fall 05 were presented during a SummerWorkshop in June 2006. After analyzing a sample student essay, the 28 faculty participants discussed the implications of “Development” and evaluated the presentation itself. This case study of one college’s participatory exercise in improving writing found some faculty resistance and some unintended results.