Student Learning Outcomes that are measurable or observable:

The group accepted the outcomes as operationalized by CEP:

  • W1      Analyze a variety of rhetorical strategies.
  • W2      Identify and employ a range of strategies for discovering, developing, organizing, revising, editing, and proofreading ideas.
  • W3      Identify and apply the dominant discourse conventions of a chosen academic discipline(s) (including conventions of genre, format, citation, structure, and vocabulary).

Direct evidence of student learning, though in addition indirect evidence may be used:

Direct evidence is already being produced in the form of student writing that’s required in each W course.

Student products or performances that give us this evidence:

  • W1-2: Student writing from W courses as well as a reflective piece written by students (during their senior year? What’s the best way to make sure that students submit such a piece?)
  • W3: Student writing from a W course taken within the major.

Collection points for these products and performances:

Students will deposit assignment(s) from each W class in an e-portfolio. Depositing materials will be a requirement of each W class.

Procedure for evaluating this evidence:

W1-2: E-portfolio will be assessed when students are seniors, with CWP taking the lead for managing the evaluation and drawing in other faculty readers as needed.


  • CWP will survey departments to see how many have departmental outcomes that address discipline-specific writing. In cases where these outcomes exist within the department, they will be assessed at the departmental level. (Q: Will each department then come up with a method for the assessment of their discipline-specific writing or could a rubric be prepared based on criteria provided by CWP?)
  • For those departments without outcomes that address discipline-specific writing, CWP will recruit a volunteer from the department to read discipline-specific writing in e-portfolios.

Procedure for using this evaluation to improve student learning:

If assessment shows that outcomes are not being achieved, CWP will sponsor programs for all who teach W classes, where faculty can discuss changes that can be made in how writing is taught.

Is entire cycle as short as possible, but no more than three years long?

The plan was to begin collecting student writing from FYSes for the class of 2019, which would then be evaluated in the students’ senior year, but this will not meet the deadline imposed by Middle States. As an alternative, a sample of writing from all W courses (being taught in fall 2015?) could be gathered and evaluated by CWP (with departmental volunteers as needed).

Other observations and suggestions:

  1. There is concern about trying to do too much work on the assessment this semester, while the director of CWP is on leave. But someone might be able to run a pilot within a department or two to experiment with the process of drawing up a rubric for the assessment of disciplinary-based discourse. (There should be lots of examples out there that could be modified).
  2. CWP has learned from the registrar that many students are completing all four W courses by the end of their sophomore year. (Ideally, students would take one in each of their four years.) CEP and the faculty might need to consider implementing a system to prevent this from happening or to require students to take a W course in their junior or senior year even if they’ve already taken four W courses.