Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Childhood Education and Literacy Studies

Major Professor

Jenifer Jasinski Schneider, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Susan Homan, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James King, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Keywords

assessment, validity, authentic, rubrics, response

Abstract

The overarching purpose of this study was to describe educators’ beliefs about the evaluation of student writing. The inquiry was guided by the following research questions: (a) what are the differences in the ways in which educators approach evaluating student writing? (b) how do educators evaluate the effectiveness of their evaluation methods for judging the quality of students’ writing samples? and (c) what factors impact the evaluation decisions of educators? The following variables were considered: public and private school settings, evaluation methods, and educators’ beliefs about evaluating writing. In order to gain perspective of the current status of the methods utilized by educators in their evaluation of and response to student writing, it is helpful to observe them during the teaching of writing and to talk with them about their process for evaluating samples of student writing. A mixed methods approach was undertaken during this study and included the collection of questionnaire responses, educator interviews, a classroom observation, and the collection of student writing samples. Interesting points in the findings included the noticeable absence of the notions of validity and reliability in the decision-making process of educators, the apparent impact of educators’ self-efficacies on their selection of evaluation methods, and a focus by educators on writing factors perceived as impacting readability. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

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