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Composition Program and Student Writing Page

Assessment: General Overview for ENG 098, ENG 099, ENG 101, ENG 102


Overall Writing Program Student Learner Outcomes:

When students complete the Composition sequence (of English 101 and 102), they will have the following abilities:

  • To plan, analyze the goals and the expectations of their primary audience, create, manage, revise, and construct a variety of written documents, to include essays and other expository academic papers, brief extemporaneous writings, essay exams, arguments, literary analyses, and research papers (predominantly in MLA style).
  • To summarize texts, to read critically, and to understand underlying and explicit assumptions about the primary audience, bias, and the use of evidence to support points.
  • T o work individually and in small groups to complete specified writing assignments.

Specific Writing Program Course Goals

The following report examines the general assessment measures in place in the English Composition course sequence. Each course is examined sequentially, from 098 through 102, using three main assessment headers:

1. Learner Outcomes
2. Learning Opportunities/Activities Designed to Meet the Learner Outcomes
3. Formative Changes Made in Response to Learner Outcomes

The following pertinent information is provided before and after the three main headers:

  • Current Texts
  • Evaluation Criteria/Rubrics for all Course Writing

Comments on this document should be forwarded to the Director of Composition in the Department of English and Mass Communication, Dr. Jeff Hoogeveen, Associate Professor

English 098
English 098 Current Texts:

Calabrese, Joseph, and Tchudi, Susan. Diversity: Strength & Struggle. NY: Longman-Pearson. Latest Edition. Print.

Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual.Latest Edition. Bedford. Print.

1. Learner Outcomes:
The primary Learner Outcome of the course is the following:

  • Students will be able to define and identify standard academic English grammatical concepts.

A secondary Learner Outcome for English 098 is:

  • Students will be able to compose paragraphs that demonstrate organization and coherence to support a topic.

2. Learning Opportunities/Activities Designed to Meet the Learner Outcomes:
Writing. A minimum of six graded compositions (normally not fully developed essays), three composed in class, must constitute the primary factor in determining a student's final grade for the course. Faculty members are encouraged to assign quizzes and exams that test students' knowledge of mechanics, grammar, and usage.

Active participation in class activities. Students should be prepared for all classes. Faculty members are encouraged to devise collaborative activities, such as group exercises and peer evaluation.

Reading of all assigned texts. Primary readings should come from the essays in the workbook and from Hurricane, and attention should be paid to student writing found in the course texts.

Writing Lab. As of Spring 1999, all faculty members should include on their ENG 098 syllabus the Department requirement of twelve hours (six before mid-term, and six after mid-term) that all ENG 098 students must put in at the Writing Lab in Dickey hall

Mid-term and final exams. All courses must include a mid-term and a final exam.

Oral activities. Faculty members are encouraged to include specified oral activities. These may be graded or ungraded, formal or informal. Oral communication skills should be emphasized in ENG 098.

Creative activities. When time allows, faculty members are encouraged to use creative writing exercises, within the context of rhetorical and literary modes, to stimulate student interest and performance in composition.

Rubric: Evaluation Criteria for all Course Writing:

  • The use of standard Academic English,
  • The rhetorical organization of the paragraph, and
  • The depth and content of ideas.

Serious deficiencies in any one area can cause overall failure.

Work in the exercise (Grammar) book will be graded according to correctness.

Definition of a portfolio: 14 two-paragraph texts, with two typed revisions and one handwritten draft, demonstrating any in-class exercises and all assigned work from the textbook

3. Formative Changes Made in Response to Learner Outcomes:
English 098:
March 2008:

  • Revised the learner outcomes and opportunities to make them more concise and clear.

August 2007:

  • Conferred with the LRC staff about improving the coordination of delivery of services. Dialoging about learner outcomes with the LRC.
  • Textbook changed from one workbook to another (2006), readings changed to biography and then back to another collection of readings.
  • Lab coordination tinkered with—more hours, better coordination, meetings between key Department faculty and lab staff, and meeting with entire Department and Lab staff.
  • Re-emphasis placed on sentence-level leading to paragraph-level competency.
  • Developed a writing tutoring night for Comp students to attend for any problems encountered in the course.
  • Paired students with strengths in one area with students with weaknesses in those areas.

English 099
English 099 Current Texts:

Lincoln University Mercury Reader for 099 and 101. Latest Edition. Pearson. Print.

Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual. Latest Edition. Bedford. Print.

1. Learner Outcomes:
The major course Learner Outcome is the following:

  • Given a prompt, students will be able to develop and revise well-organized paragraphs that create competent essays, using effective academic English, in a timely manner.

Secondary Learner Outcomes for English 099 include:

  • Comprehend a variety of essays, suitable for college, and explain their content, audience, and purpose.
  • Students will also be able to differentiate between narrative prose and expository prose and create and revise narrative and expository drafts in class and independently.

2. Learning Opportunities/Activities Designed to Meet the Learner Outcomes:

Writing. A minimum of six graded compositions, three composed in class, must constitute the primary factor in determining a student's final grade for the course. Faculty members are encouraged to assign quizzes and exams that test students' knowledge of mechanics, grammar, and usage. Faculty members are encouraged to assign additional essays, graded or ungraded. The traditional five paragraph essay structure, with thesis statement, topic sentences, introductions and conclusions, should be emphasized. The final drafts of essays should grow out of sentence outlines and then multiple-revision drafts; these aspects should be treated as discrete, sequential parts of essay assignments. Faculty members are encouraged to allow students to revise at least some of their essays; revision grades may be incorporated into the grading system according to the faculty member's judgment. The following rhetorical modes will be emphasized in English 099:

  • Narrative,
  • Description (objective and subjective),
  • Process Analysis, and
  • Exemplification.

Active participation in class activities. Students should be prepared for all classes. Faculty members are encouraged to devise collaborative activities, such as group exercises and peer evaluation.

Reading of all assigned texts. Writer's Resources should be used to teach and to reinforce basic writing skills.

Writing Lab. As of Spring 1999, all faculty members should include on their ENG 101 syllabus the Department requirement of twelve hours (six before mid-term, and six after mid-term) that all ENG 099 students must put in at the Writing Lab in Dickey Hall
Other Activities:

Mid-term and final exams. All courses must include a mid-term and a final exam.
Minimum grades. In Spring 1990, the Department adopted the following policy: In order to pass the course, students must receive a grade of a C- or better on at least three graded essays in ENG 099.

Oral activities. Faculty members are encouraged to include specified oral activities. These may be graded or ungraded, formal or informal. Oral communication skills should be heavily emphasized in ENG 099.

Creative activities. When time allows, faculty members are encouraged to use creative writing exercises, within the context of rhetorical and literary modes, to stimulate student interest and performance in composition.

Rubric: Evaluation Criteria for all Course Writing:

  • The use of standard Academic English,
  • The rhetorical organization of the essay, and
  • The depth and content of ideas.

Serious deficiencies in any one area can cause overall failure.
Work in the exercise (Grammar) book will be graded according to correctness.

3. Formative Changes Made in Response to Learner Outcomes:
English 099:
March 2008:

  • Revised the learner outcomes and opportunities to make them more concise and clear.

August 2007:

  • Conferred with the LRC staff about improving the coordination of delivery of services. Dialoging about learner outcomes with the LRC.
  • Textbook has been changed twice in seven years due to insufficiency in meeting desired outcomes.
  • Re-emphasized basic skill levels of paragraph to essay focus of course.
  • Novel changed from Frederick Douglass to Coming of Age in Mississippi.
  • Faculty meetings with Lab (see same item under English 098)
  • Developed a writing tutoring night for Comp students to attend for any problems encountered in the course.
  • Paired students with strengths in one area with students with weaknesses in those areas.

ENGLISH 101
English 101 Current Texts:

Lincoln University Mercury Reader for 099 and 101.Latest Edition. Pearson. Print.

Beah, Ishmael. A Long Way Gone. Latest Edition. Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux. Any
Edition. Print.

Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual.Latest Edition. Bedford. Print.

1. Learner Outcomes:
The major Learner Outcome for English 101 is the following:

  • Given a prompt, students shall be able to develop and revise, in a timely manner, an expository essay, in effective academic English, that has well developed paragraphs supporting a central thesis.

Other Learner Outcomes include:

  • Students will be able to differentiate between four kinds of rhetorical modes and select which one best accomplishes their goals for writing. Along the same lines, students will also be able to differentiate between and analyze different rhetorical aims and objectives in their course readings.
  • Students will be able to differentiate between information and opinions and determine how to create a working hypothesis using both.
  • Students will be able to work independently and in groups in order to analyze information and opinions and create verbal discourse and written texts that provide examples, compare and contrast, and discuss cause and effect relationships.
  • Students will also use technology to create, save, and revise texts.

2. Learning Opportunities/Activities Designed to Meet the Learner Outcomes

In order to qualify for course completion, each student must demonstrate minimum writing competency by passing the Department of English Composition Assessment exam with at least a B- on one essay. There will be at least four chances to pass this in-class writing exam. Each of the four major papers will have as a component of their production an evaluated in-class essay, which will work in support of the Department’s multiple-draft, revision-based pedagogy. The average of the four essays will be used as the core foundation for the course grade. At least one essay with a grade above a B- will be submitted to the Department’s Writing Program Administrator, who will use a statistical model of sampling to corroborate the reliability of the Assessment Program. These essays will not be returned.

Failure to achieve a B- on any of the four exams results in course failure. Final exam is the last time that a student may attempt the Assessment essay. Students must also achieve other minimum course requirements (noted below).

Passing the assessment essay does not mean that you automatically pass English 101. This is one of the minimum requirements for course completion.

Writing. A minimum of six graded essays, three composed in class, must constitute the primary factor in determining a student's final grade for the course. Faculty members are encouraged to assign additional essays, graded or ungraded. The traditional five paragraph essay structure, with thesis statement, topic sentences, introductions and conclusions, should be emphasized. The final drafts of essays should grow out of sentence outlines and then multiple-revision drafts; these aspects should be treated as discrete, sequential parts of essay assignments. Faculty members are encouraged to allow students to revise at least some of their essays; revision grades may be incorporated into the grading system according to the faculty member's judgment.
Each of the following rhetorical modes must be taught:

  • Exemplification,
  • Comparison and Contrast,
  • Classification and Division, and
  • Causal Analysis.

Active participation in class activities. Students should be prepared for all classes. Faculty members are encouraged to devise collaborative activities, such as group exercises and peer evaluation.

Reading of all assigned texts. The first chapter from Patterns should be emphasized so as to introduce the writing process to students; the emphasis on process should be continued throughout the semester.

Mid-term and final exams. All courses must include a mid-term and a final exam. Quizzes and other exams are encouraged and can be assigned at the faculty member's judgment.

Business writing. If there is time, faculty members might teach the genres of the resume and the business letter.

Oral activities. Faculty members are encouraged to include specified oral activities. These may be graded or ungraded, formal or informal. Oral communication skills should be heavily emphasized in ENG 101.

Creative activities. While competency in expository writing must constitute the principal component and its grading system, faculty members are encouraged to use creative writing exercises to stimulate student interest and performance in literature and composition.

Rubric: Evaluation Criteria for all Course Writing:

  • The use of standard Academic English,
  • The rhetorical organization of the essay, and
  • The depth and content of ideas.

Serious deficiencies in any one area can cause overall failure.

3. Formative Changes Made in Response to Learner Outcomes:
English 101:
March 2008:

  • Revised the learner outcomes and opportunities to make them more concise and clear.

August 2007:

  • Standardized Writing Evaluation Rubric was created initially and has been disseminated for comment and for use since 2000 several times. Re-“norming” the rubric. Re-“norming” the evaluation process for 102 essays.
  • Textbook and novel has been changed. Handbook has been changed. All previous texts were changed due to insufficiency in meeting desired learner outcomes.
  • All assessment essays, which are also called the writing proficiency exam, are embedded in the curriculum and pedagogy of the course, which is highly standardized, even more so than other Comp courses. All passing essays are evaluated by the Program Director.
  • Developed a writing tutoring night for Comp students to attend for any problems encountered in the course.
  • Paired students with strengths in one area with students with weaknesses in those areas

ENGLISH 102
English 102 Current Texts:

Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual. Latest Edition. Bedford. Print.

Lincoln University English 102 Reader. Latest Edition. Print.

1. Learner Outcomes:
The primary Learner Outcomes for English 102 include the following:

  • Students will be introduced to the process and learn how to independently plan and write a college-level research paper in the humanities.
  • Students will be able to differentiate between the critical issues involved with principal literary genres, the study of literature, and the writing of analytical essays on literature.

Other Learner Outcomes include:

  • To write a variety of texts; to summarize texts; to read and to listen effectively and critically; and to write and speak coherently and persuasively.
  • To explain the difference between factual information and opinions.
  • To devise and develop, modify, and fulfill their own research agendas around contemporary and enduring issues.
  • To locate, evaluate, organize, synthesize, annotate, cite, summarize, paraphrase, and present information from different sources.

2. Learning Opportunities/Activities Designed to Meet the Learner Outcomes:

Writing requirements. The grades on the three essays and the research paper should constitute the primary final grade.
The 5-7 page research paper. The research paper is the most important aspect of ENG 102, and should be graded accordingly. Faculty members may limit the topics of research. MLA style should be used. The sequence for preparing and writing a research paper must minimally include: Topic selection, Library research methods, Bibliography, Note-taking, Outlining, Drafting/Revising. One argument and two analyses of literature. A minimum of three graded essays, two composed in class, also must be written in the course. The writing process, learned in ENG 101, should be reinforced in ENG 102; sentence outlines and multiple revision drafts should be treated as sequential components of each assignment. The structure and organization of these essays should be the same as in ENG 101: Essays should include thesis statement, topic sentences, introductions and conclusions.

Active participation in class activities. Students should be prepared for all classes. Faculty members are encouraged to devise collaborative activities, such as group exercises and peer evaluation.

Reading of all assigned texts. Readings in support of the argumentative mode should include essays from Patterns, including the student model essays.

Mid-term and final exams. All courses must include a mid-term and a final exam. Quizzes and other exams are encouraged and can be assigned at the faculty member's judgment.

Oral activities. Faculty members are encouraged to include specified oral activities. These may be graded or ungraded, formal or informal. Oral communication skills should be heavily emphasized in ENG 102.

Creative activities. In both its literature and research components, ENG 102 emphasizes the students' critical faculties. However, as part of introducing students to literature, it seems desirable to expose them to the creative side of writing as well. Faculty members are encouraged to devise exercises that allow students to exercise their creative abilities in poetry and/or prose. Such exercises should be generated from relevant course readings.

Rubric: Evaluation Criteria for all Course Writing:
See attached rubric, which is used for all essays (and argument papers) written in course.
All of your written work in English 103 will be evaluated based on three areas:
The use of standard Academic English,
The organization of the essay, and
The depth of your ideas.
Serious deficiencies in any one area can cause overall failure.

3. Formative Changes Made in Response to Learner Outcomes:
English 102:
March 2008:

  • Revised the learner outcomes and opportunities to make them more concise and clear.

August 2007:

  • Re-emphasize the need to insure student shave core grammar/mechanical skills.
  • Changed reader six years ago to meet needs of instructors who felt the previous text was inadequate.
  • Focusing more now on plagiarism-related issues, such as finding and evaluating sources, and the ethical use (and misuse) of sources.
  • Moved toward encouraging faculty to assigning two research papers, as opposed to one or to a non-secondary source literary analysis. That is, we changed one element of the course objective to meet the needs of students who needed more experience with research paper skills.
  • Developed a writing tutoring night for Comp students to attend for any problems encountered in the course.
  • Paired students with strengths in one area with students with weaknesses in those areas.


 

 

 

 

 

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