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Writing

The writing assessment is designed for two goals: 1. Provide student feedback about their writing on criteria related to successful college writing; and 2. To get them to engage in the self-regulatory processes addressed in the self-regulated learning assessment. Students receive nearly instantaneous feedback since an automated scoring system is used (details on that system are located in the technical section. Below is the writing prompt and the scoring rubric.

DAACS Writing Assessment Prompt

Writing Assessment Prompt

DAACS Writing Assessment Scoring Rubric

Please note that this is the rubric used for scoring. Students see a different rubric that uses growth language instead of deficiency language. It also identifies strategies and features they can use to make the essay better.

Criteria Developing (1) Emerging (2) Mastering (3)
Content: Summary The discussion of the survey and feedback is vague, poorly grounded in the survey results and feedback, and/or simplistic. The essay uses evidence from survey results and feedback to summarize and discuss strengths and/or weaknesses. The summary might be selective, under-developed in places, and/or lack sufficient detail, e.g., a lot of discussion of implications without much summary or vice versa. The essay includes a thorough, coherent, and detailed summary of SRL survey results and feedback and a discussion of what they indicate about the writer's strengths and weaknesses as a learner.
Content: Suggestions Choices of suggestions to which to commit are vague, if present at all, and/or only loosely connected to the survey results and feedback, if at all. The essay might refer to the continued use of current strategies but not to anything new related to the SRL feedback. Choices of suggestions to which to commit are discussed. The connections to the survey and feedback are present but might not always be explicit or logical. The explanation for committing to particular strategies might be thin. The discussion of suggestions for improvement in SRL is logically and explicitly related to the survey results and feedback, justified ("why you are committed to using those strategies") and developed in sufficient depth.
Organization: Structure The structure of the essay is weak and/or illogical. Main ideas might be presented in a way that seems haphazard or disorganized. The essay has a general structure but may not have a clear overall organization that enables a reader to follow the progression of one idea to another. Note: One-sentence paragraphs do not necessarily reflect a problem with organization, but numerous such paragraphs might signal a weak structure. The essay is well-organized, with an order and structure that present the discussion in a clear, logical manner.
Organization: Transitions Transitions between paragraphs are missing or ineffective; paragraphs tend to abruptly shift from one idea to the next. Note: One-paragraph essays receive a 1 for this criterion. Paragraphs are usually linked with transitions, as needed. The transitions might be implied or strained, but the reader can follow along. Transitions between paragraphs are appropriate and effective, and strengthen the progression of the essay (e.g. "The second aspect . . ." "The last aspect . . ." and/or the repetition of important ideas and terms to connect paragraphs).
Paragraphs: Focus on a Main Idea Most or all paragraphs lack one clear, main point; might have several topics. Note: Numerous brief paragraphs of one or two sentences each might indicate a problem with paragraph focus and warrant a score of 1. Paragraphs are generally but not consistently focused on a main idea or point. One or more paragraphs lack or fail to maintain a clear focus in an essay in which most paragraphs maintain a clear focus. An essay can receive a score of 2 if there is a clear shift in ideas (i.e. the writer knows he/she is shifting topic), but no paragraph break. Paragraphs are consistently and clearly focused on a main idea or point. No one-paragraph essay should receive a score of 3.
Paragraphcs: Cohesion The connections between ideas in sentences within paragraphs are unclear. Little effective use of linking words and phrases. The ideas or information in each sentence within a paragraph are generally but not consistently linked together, if only loosely. Additional or better choices of linking words and phrases would clarify the connections b/w ideas within paragraphs. Within paragraphs, the individual sentences are seamlessly linked together; the reader can see the relationship between the ideas or information in one sentence and those in another sentence. The writing explicitly links sentences and ideas using adverbs (e.g., similarly, also, therefore), relative pronouns (e.g., who, that, which), conjunctions (e.g., and, or, while, whereas), and/or the repetition of key words, as appropriate.
Sentences: Correct Significant syntax problems, such as fragments and run-on sentences, are numerous enough to distract readers. Syntax problems are generally minor and may include awkward constructions, missing or unnecessary words, or transposed words. An essay can receive a score of 2 even if there are significant syntax errors, such as a fragments or run-ons, if those errors are rare and sentences are generally correct. There are no significant syntax problems. The writer is capable of managing even complex syntactic structures correctly.
Sentences: Complex The sentences lack syntactic complexity and vary little, if at all, in structure. The sentences tend to be relatively simple in structure, following a basic subject-verb-object pattern perhaps with a few additional elements, such as brief introductory phrases, prepositional phrases, or modifiers. Complex syntactic structures are present but may not always be managed effectively; sentence structures may be varied but are not often sophisticated. Consistent and appropriate use of a variety of sentence structures, including sophisticated sentence structures, such as complex, compound, or compound-complex sentences, and other complex syntactic forms, such as extended participial phrases and relative clauses.
Conventions: Punctuation Errors in punctuation are numerous enough to distract a reader and/or interfere with meaning. Patterns of punctuation errors may be evident, suggesting that the writer lacks an understanding of key rules for punctuation. Punctuation is generally correct. There may be errors but they are neither numerous enough nor serious enough to indicate that the writer lacks a basic understanding of the rules for punctuation. Punctuation is correct. Punctuation errors, if any, are common and very minor.