Measuring Writing: Recent Insights into Theory, Methodology and Practice


This volume provides a state-of-the-art overview of theory, methodology and practices in the assessment of writing. The focus throughout the book is on the construct of writing and its assessment: what constitutes writing ability and how can it be defined (in various contexts)? This question cannot be answered without looking into the methodological question of how to validate and measure the construct of writing ability. Throughout the book, therefore, discussions integrate theoretical and methodological issues. A number of chapters discusses whether varying definitions and varying operationalizations of writing ability are needed in various contexts, such as formative assessments versus summative assessments, large scale assessments versus individual assessments, different tasks, different genres, and different languages, but also different age groups. A range of rating methods is investigated and discussed in this book. The ongoing debate on holistic versus analytic ratings, and the different underlying conceptions of writing proficiency, is a pertinent matter, on which a number of chapters in this volume shed new light. The matter is discussed and analyzed from various angles, such as generalizability of judgements and usability in formative contexts. Another fundamental debate concerns computer scoring of written products. A nuanced discussion of its validity is presented in this volume.

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List of Contributors

1. The Validity and Generalizability of Writing Scores: The Effect of Rater, Task and Language
Rob Schoonen

2. Generalizability of Text Quality Scores
Huub van den Bergh, Sven De Maeyer, Daphne van Weijen and Marion Tillema

3. Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Text Coding Procedures for Research and Practice in a School Context
Astrid Neumann

4. Examining the Validity of Single-Occasion, Single-Genre, Holistically Scored Writing Assessments
Natalie G. Olinghouse, Tanya Santangelo and Joshua Wilson

5. Combining Score and Text Analyses to Examine Task Equivalence in Writing Assessments
Khaled Barkaoui and Ibtissem Knouzi

6. Raters’ Perceptions of Textual Borrowing in Integrated Writing Tasks
Sara Cushing Weigle and Megan Montee

7. Computer Scoring and Quality of Thought in Assessing Writing
Doug McCurry

8. Challenges of Using Automated Essay Evaluation Software for Assessing Multimodal Writing
Carl Whithaus

Author Index
Subject Index
List of Volumes
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