The WAC Program has been engaged in various levels of assessment since its inception. We began with a baseline assessment of both English 1000 and the piloted English 2001. With the new General Education and the Vertical Writing Model about to be launched, we wanted to know our students' strengths and weaknesses before the curriculum changed. Since that first assessment of student portfolios, we have assessed them annually for the last five years. Our rubrics have evolved to become more meaningful as well. Following each round we have developed workshops for Composition faculty to address gaps in student progress, such as in documentation skills. Our record of assessments was recognized and praised by the SACS reviewers in their most recent report.
We have also developed internal assessments for the WAC staff, including follow-up evaluations after consultations with WID faculty, evaluations of workshops and presentations by the participants, and annual reports by and evaluations of consultants by the director for the Vice-Provost for Academic Affairs.
The WAC Program and Gen Ed have created a structure for direct writing assessment, working with Elaine Gray and Tony Carey, the first that Composition has participated in for many years , guided by Sherry Alusow Hart, who is the WAC consultant in charge of assessment activities. WAC began work on writing assessment in 2009, helping Composition to create an assessment plan, and has since brought FL, ESL, WGC, and Comp together to talk about assessment in first-year writing courses.
WAC has read portfolios from English 1000 and 2001 for 4 semesters, providing the first direct writing assessment to Gen Ed in at least 20 years.
WAC consultants created rubrics for writing from sources and reflection for a reading of portfolios in spring 2009, applied these rubrics to portfolio readings, and provided information to Gen Ed and Composition, offering a faculty development workshop to Composition about the findings, and then revising these rubrics based on the study.
In 2009 and 2010, WAC consultants participated in the Gen Ed Barbara Walvoord symposium and evaluated the AAC&U rubric for writing courses. WAC consultants then applied the AAC&U rubric in two readings for Gen Ed, providing analysis of the rubric's efficacy and feedback to Composition.
WAC also compared the AAC&U rubric with its own and offered analysis to Gen Ed and Composition this year.
WAC has conducted indirect assessment of writing through surveys with students and faculty.
- WAC provides information about writing rubric development and application to Composition and WID courses.
- WAC has laid groundwork for WID course assessment, conducting a syllabi inventory of all programs in preparation for faculty development in 2012, and developed a metarubric as a guide for disciplines to adapt for WID courses which is awaiting Gen Ed Council discussion.
- WAC has developed an argumentation rubric for courses across the curriculum. Please click here to access the rubric.
The metarubric is a suggested rubric based on the shared outcomes from the original Gen Ed list to be adapted by programs interested in a general rubric for writing assessment. We'll be happy to talk with your faculty about adapting the metarubric or creating one for your program. Please click here to access this metarubric.
WAC Consultant Sherry Alusow Hart has also provided a guide for faculty in creating their own rubrics. Please click here to access this guide.
Since 2011, Dennis Bohr of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program at Appalachian State University has conducted a survey of students in the Writing in the Discipline classes and in English 2001, Introduction to WAC, to gain feedback pertaining to theirattitudes about how well they are being prepared for writing in their majors, about their experience with the University Writing Center (UWC), and to find out how they felt about themselves as writers. The primary goal of WAC is to offer faculty development to support the vertical writing curriculum in order to help studentswrite better in their academic careers and to prepare them for the writing they will do outside academia.Gathering information via this survey can help WAC strengthen faculty development for the English 2001 course, which serves as students’ introduction to writing across the curriculum. (This document reports only the results relevant to the WAC program.) You can find the report here.
For information about the Writing Across the Curriculum Program please contact Director Georgia Rhoades at (828) 262-2075 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Writing Across the Curriculum Program
Appalachian State University
253 Anne Belk Hall
ASU Box 32033
Boone, NC 28608-2033
(828) 262-2075 (office)
(828) 262-2032 (fax)