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WEEK 8

ASSESSING WRITING SKILLS


Assessment Strategies
Feedback
By: Pn Marsilah Binti Mohamad Isa
What Do I Look For in Writing?
Assessing
__ Expresses judgments of quality using appropriate criteria.
__ Produces written reflections about own writing.
__ Assesses both process and product of own writing.
__ Understands own writing process.
__ Accurately assesses own writing and the writing of others.
__ Understands own strengths and weaknesses.
__ Sets goals for improvement
__ Achieves most learning goals.
__ Asks for specific help and uses it.
__ Sees self as a writer.
__ Understands how to improve or seeks to find out.
__ Finds writing enjoyable and valuable.
__ Focuses on growth and improvement over time rather than on the
success or failure of a single piece.
Are grades a form
of assessment?
Are grades a form of assessment?
Most people think of assessment as a synonym for testing.
To test children is to assess them.
And whats more, its the only way to assess them because
only precise numbers can precisely assess learning. Or so it
goes.
But true assessment has little to do with gathering statistical
information about student learning and everything to do with
how we use that information.
Assessment is the gathering of information for
the purpose of guiding instruction.
If the information we gather doesnt directly inform our
teaching, then its not true assessment.
The truth is that the vast majority of data generated by testing
individual students is never used to determine the specific
instruction those students should receive.
Whats a Good Assessment?

A good assessment:

Uses specific and appropriate language to describe the
data gathered and the patterns that are observed.
Uses direct references to actual student work and
behavior.
Is based on authentic data gathered in an authentic
manner from within an authentic context.


Before you do any assessing, ask yourself this question:
"How do I plan to use the information I am
gathering to guide my instruction?"
Responding to a written work
Responding to written work.doc
Why should we include writing activities in a
language course?

Choose the three most important reasons.

a) Writing reinforces the grammatical structures.
b) Writing helps our students to learn vocabulary.
c) Writing can also play a role in many of the activities in which
the goal is oral production, reading comprehension, etc.
d) Writing exercises consolidate language already presented and
practiced orally.
e) Students have to develop the skills of communicating in writing.
f) Students need writing for study purposes (to record and review
vocabulary words and structures that the teacher writes on the
blackboard).

Therefore.
These are the
reasons for the
assessment of
writing
Assessing written work
As important as planning activities to
help students develop their writing skills
is assessing their written work.
It is invaluable to both students, who
can learn from their errors, and
teachers, who can check the students'
progress and identify specific problems.
Assessing written work
Fairly controlled writing tasks (such as gap-
filling, reordering, open dialogues, etc.) can
easily be corrected orally in class
Students can correct each other's work in
pairs and then the whole class goes through
the answers together. This type of correction
not only reduces the teacher's workload, but
it also involves students in the revision and
editing of their own pieces of writing so that
they can learn from their errors.
Sample writing
Means of transports nowadays is very importan
because, very people have to to go to work outside
of your town and if all people caught them car,
they couldnt drive, because would have very car.
However have public transport too. Then the
traffic is less, althougt have problems yet.

The public transport is a from studied for this
problems of traffic that are one more important
actually.
Some helpful suggestions:
1. Mark positively teachers corrections should have
encouraging effects on students so rather than
deducting points for each mistake, respond
positively to strengths and reward what they have
got right.

Tricia Hedge states:

Ideally when marking any piece of work, ticks in the
margin and commendations should provide a
counterbalance to correction of errors in the
script. (1988: 10)




Suggestions
2. Design a specific and reliable correction system.
Thus we need to decide:
* What aspects of writing will be taken into
account (content, organization, grammar,
vocabulary, spelling, etc.)
* What type of descriptors will be used (numbers,
letters, words such as excellent, good, fair,
etc.)
* What criteria will be established to understand
what each descriptor represents. These criteria
could be arranged in holistic scales (general
descriptions of writing ability) or analytic scales,
which separate the aspects of writing into
different units.

Example of holistic scale for
writing ability.doc


Example of analytic scale for writing
ability.doc
Further reading
..\eScholarship UC item 4dw4z8rt.pdf
Suggestions
2. Mark selectively
-When we find a lot of mistakes in a composition,
it is a good idea - specially when we carry out
informal assessment - to focus our attention on
some particular aspects, such as basic
grammatical mistakes or organization, and ignore
the rest, otherwise students will see their page
painted in red and feel discouraged. We can
leave the other mistakes for another time.


3.Use a clear correction code.

-In order to give feedback to students, teachers could create a
system of abbreviations which they write in the margins of the
composition to indicate the type of error detected, so that students can
try to identify and correct them
themselves later on in class. Some correction symbols could be the
following:

Sp = spelling mistake
T = wrong tense
Wo = word order
Pr = prepositions
L = linking
V = vocabulary (inappropriate language)
P = punctuation
O = a word missing
? = unclear meaning
Pa = paragraphs

Self-assessment possibilities

We all know that it is not easy to assess and correct one's
own written work, however we should encourage our
students to get involved
in the revision, editing, and correction of their own pieces of
writing.

Thus, marking compositions becomes the students'
responsibility as well and a good way of improving their
writing skills.

When we think of self-assessment we are basically thinking
of how we can help students become aware of the way they
are learning, their problems and needs. Therefore, a
questionnaire which makes them consider their writing
process is a good tool in the hands of the teacher.
Self-evaluation with a checklist
Part of the writing process is checking over
what has been written to make
improvements. In formal writing, such as the
writing of assignments (more for academic
study), the checking can be helped if there is
a checklist to consider;
- Is your main argument clearly stated?
- Is it presented very early in the writing?
- Are the supports for this argument clearly
signalled?
- etc
Feedback
Feedback, like assessment, compares standards
and expectations with actual student
performance to evaluate the quality of work.
However, the purpose of feedback differs from that
of assessment in that the purpose of feedback is
to highlight those areas of performance which
satisfied standards and expectations, rather
than to grade the performance. It is important
that teachers clarify standards and
expectations before students engage in the lesson.
By doing so, students will learn how to assess their
own performance in the future. The feedback process
provides an opportunity for teachers and students to
engage in meaningful dialogue about what
differentiates successful performance from
unsuccessful as they together review expectations
and standards (Fink, 2003)

FEEDBACK ON ASSESSMENT
What is the purpose of effective feedback on student
assessments?

Every assessment include some form of timely feedback to assist
further learning. Effective feedback can be a powerful influence on
student learning, by:

reviewing and informing about progress
enhancing student performance
encouraging intellectual engagement
building confidence
promoting self-reflection, self-awareness and self-management of
future improvements.
explaining and clarifying performance standards
identifying strengths and weaknesses
correcting mistakes and omissions;

What is effective feedback?
Effective feedback is:

Provided as quickly as possible;
A deliberate teaching tool, which notes the quality of
the performance and how it can be improved;
Individualised and focused on the students
performance not on her or him as a person;
An integral (vital) aspect of each course;
Able to clarify the criteria against which the students
performance is being judged and the standards for
different levels of performance;
Effective feedback
Qualitative commentary - a mark or a grade by itself
is inadequate feedback, even with grade
descriptors;
Strategic - not too little, not too much- shaping
student development, step-by-step over time.
Students can be challenged without being
overwhelmed.
A place to refer to skills, e.g., graduate, professional
or academic skills;
A place to refer to disciplinary content and any
ntellectual debates with which students may need to
engage; and
An opportunity to point beyond particular
assessment tasks to assist performance of later
tasks.


How to enhance student learning with
feedback?
Provide feedback on examinations to improve
performance in the next exam. You can post a
general report to all students on the course website,
which includes the distribution of marks and
sufficient information for students to understand
where they did well and where they did poorly.

Individual feedback on assignments may be
supplemented by a general report that includes the
distribution of marks, model answers, features of
excellent performance, common mistakes or
inadequacies, issues needing attention, and
suggestions for action to address these issues in later
assessments.
TUTORIAL TASK
In groups of four:
- study a sample piece
of writing.
- discuss ways to provide
feedback and
justify the feedback
given