General Studies Writing
Audience Sheet Rubric
The portfolios were examined by GSW’s two administrators and the three additional members of GSW’s teaching staff who worked in the GSW office during the summer. The following rubric was applied to determine the degree to which the new audience tool had influenced the students’ success in their writing assignments:
- The audience sheets have been carefully and thoroughly completed, and good critical thinking about audience is evidenced. There is a strong connection between the audience sheets and the papers that they accompany.
- The audience sheets have been completed conscientiously overall, and useful critical thinking is evidenced. There is a good connection between most of the audience sheets and the papers they accompany.
- The audience sheets have been completed but in all likelihood only because they are required. The level of critical thinking about audience appears to be minimal.
- The audience sheets have not been completed or they have been only partially completed. Little to no critical thinking about audience is evidenced.
Since this was the first time that GSW had assessed a tool for helping instructors teach the concept of audience, we did not have a point of comparison with any previous tools.
However, the results of this assessment project indicated that our new, more visually useful tool was working well for students overall. A summary of our results follows:
- Of the 30 portfolios assessed in this manner, 5 were judged in the #1 group, with students having devoted extremely careful attention to their audience sheets. All 5 of these student writers had “passing” portfolios, containing papers that evidenced a strong understanding of audience.
- Eight were judged in the #2 group, with students having devoted good attention to their audience sheets. All 8 of these student writers had “passing” portfolios, containing at least some papers which evidenced a good understanding of audience.
- Thirteen were judged in the #3 group, with students having devoted some attention to their audience sheets, although the amount of attention given was less than desirable. Of this group, 10 students had passing or low‐passing portfolios, and 3 did not pass portfolio assessment.
- Four were judged in the #4 group, with students not completing or only partially completing their audience sheets. Of these student writers, two had low‐passing portfolios, and two did not pass portfolio assessment.
Based upon this initial assessment project, GSW will continue to require the use of this new tool for all major paper projects. While acknowledging that we used a relatively small sample, the participants were agreement that there was even a stronger connection between the audience sheets and the students’ success on their writing projects than we had hoped for.
In the coming year, the assessment committee will explore additional ways to ensure that students will complete the audience sheets, as well as to provide additional assistance to GSW’s teaching staff to help them teach using the tool. As well, the GSW teaching staff involved in the assessment project found the project to be personally useful to their own teaching. Thus, the plan is to expand the assessment project the next time we use it, involving additional teaching staff and perhaps creating a more comprehensive rubric for the assessment. Further discussion about a continuation of this project will occur at a meeting for GSW teaching staff in Fall 2010.