Proposal Abstract

Scientists are in general reluctant to assign writing projects because they want to evaluate content knowledge and logic, not grammar or mechanics. Campus writing centers are seen by these faculty as ineffective (regardless of their actual performance), and are typically underutilized. As a pilot solution to this problem, we adopted ETS’s Criterion software as a formative assessment tool. Criterion iteratively screened each draft for grammar and construction errors and was subsequently corrected by the student prior to final submission of his/her paper. Each grammatically optimized entry was then examined and commented on for content by a faculty member. This in-progress research study examined two aspects of writing in a science classroom with the use of technology 1) student perceptions concerning the technology and its value as a formative assessment to the student’s written products 2) instructor perception of student writing competency and the software’s value as a formative assessment. Preliminary results will be shared with participants to elicit feedback and spur discussion concerning next steps.

Location

Room 1220

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

 
Mar 26th, 11:00 AM Mar 26th, 11:45 AM

Writing About Evolution in Biology – Using Formative Assessment to Assist Student Competency and Reduce Instructor Frustration

Room 1220

Scientists are in general reluctant to assign writing projects because they want to evaluate content knowledge and logic, not grammar or mechanics. Campus writing centers are seen by these faculty as ineffective (regardless of their actual performance), and are typically underutilized. As a pilot solution to this problem, we adopted ETS’s Criterion software as a formative assessment tool. Criterion iteratively screened each draft for grammar and construction errors and was subsequently corrected by the student prior to final submission of his/her paper. Each grammatically optimized entry was then examined and commented on for content by a faculty member. This in-progress research study examined two aspects of writing in a science classroom with the use of technology 1) student perceptions concerning the technology and its value as a formative assessment to the student’s written products 2) instructor perception of student writing competency and the software’s value as a formative assessment. Preliminary results will be shared with participants to elicit feedback and spur discussion concerning next steps.