(Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning

By Brian Huot | Go to book overview

2
WRITING ASSESSMENT AS A
FIELD OF STUDY

It is becoming more and more clear to me that the work that I and others do in writing assessment, like work in other fields, is constrained, shaped and promoted by the overall shape of the field itself, yet writing assessment—as a field—has not been the object of inquiry for very much scholarship. There are several reasons for this, of course. Writing assessment researchers have been busy doing other things, mainly trying to establish procedures that could measure student ability in writing. Although research into the assessment of writing goes back to the early part of this century (Starch and Eliott 1912), there really hasn’t been much of a sense that writing assessment was, indeed, a field of study. Most work in assessment before the 1970s was carried out within the field of educational measurement, which still considers writing as just one more area of research within its vast domain of all educational testing. Interest and activity in writing assessment, however, has changed radically since the 1970s. In the last three decades, there has been much research and inquiry into writing assessment issues, enough by the early 1990s to support the establishment of a journal, Assessing Writing, devoted entirely to the assessment of student writing, and more recently a second periodical, The Journal of Writing Assessment.

Writing assessment has evolved into an intellectual and public site in which scholarship is conceived and implemented by people from various disciplines and subdisciplines. In a 1990 review,

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(Re)Articulating Writing Assessment for Teaching and Learning
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1- (Re)Articulating Writing Assessment 1
  • 2- Writing Assessment as a Field of Study 21
  • 3- Assessing, Grading, Testing, and Teaching Writing 59
  • 4- Toward a New Theory of Writing Assessment 81
  • 5- Reading like a Teacher toward a Theory of Response 109
  • 6- Writing Assessment as Technology and Research 137
  • 7- Writing Assessment Practice 165
  • Notes 192
  • References 195
  • Index 213
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