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Office of Institutional Research

Direct Assessment: Writing


  • Pilots conducted in 2006 and 2007, full analysis in 2008-09.
  • Using process based on Carleton College writing portfolio, faculty submitted best papers from students in WI courses.
  • Faculty assessment session in January reading and scoring papers using a rubric based on WI goals.
  • Results used by Jacobson Center to design additional follow up course in spring for students needing more writing-intensive instruction and to target faculty development in writing.
  • Annual writing assessment sessions  beginning January 2013.


  • Faculty discussions on issues in student preparation for college writing.
    • What do we expect in student writing?  How much writing do we expect students to do in the first year?
  • Faculty feedback that participation in writing assessment workshop provided significant faculty development.
    • Writing assessment workshops planned annually for ongoing data and faculty development
  • Assessment data provided guidance for decision-making and institutional priorities.
    • Development of second-semester writing mechanics course for students who did not become college-level writers after one WI course.
    • Addition of faculty development for WI instructors around key areas of challenge, including paragraph development.
    • Analysis and confirmation of score data presently used to recommend students take a writing mechanics course.




Quantitative Reasoning

Critical Thinking

Selected Departmental Learning Goals



Film Studies


Psychology Methods



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