Assessing Student Learning at the Foundational Level: AY 2018-19 English 101 [WRTG] Holistic Skills Assessment

As reported in the AY 2018-19 English 101 Holistic Skills Assessment Project Summary of Key Evidence for UCORE (PDF), assessment results indicated that 81% of students exceeded or met expectations for written communication at a first-year undergraduate level at the end of their English 101 [WRTG] course.

English 101 (College Composition) helps satisfy UCORE’s Foundational Competency Written Communication course [WRTG] requirement. As described in the WSU Catalog, UCORE [WRTG] courses “require students to develop and express ideas clearly, concisely, and effectively in writing. Using strategic assignments and aligned evaluation criteria, [WRTG] courses develop a student’s understanding of the principles and elements of effective written communication through applied practice, self-evaluation, and revision.” As such, the WSU Composition Program requires that all English 101 course sections are portfolio-based and that the portfolio is the primary means for evaluating student work because it honors both the processes and products of writing. Portfolios must include the research essay, another source-based essay, and at least one other revised paper, and includes final drafts as well as earlier drafts with instructor feedback. The specific requirements of each project included in the portfolio are determined by individual instructors while attending to course outcomes.

The English 101 Holistic Skills Assessment Project, collected beginning in Fall 2017, was built on the longstanding practice of portfolio review sessions and discussion by English 101 instructors. In AY 2018-19, 27 English 101 instructors participated in the Holistic Skills Assessment Project to gauge student learning in written communication (a sub-goal of the Communication learning goal) for UCORE, as well as to provide English 101 faculty with information for program development. English 101 instructors were asked to submit a short report on holistic student achievement of course outcomes, as demonstrated in students’ final portfolios. Forty one reports were submitted for 76 English 101 sections on the Pullman, Vancouver, and Tri-Cities campuses, which represented more than 1,600 students and roughly 57% of students enrolled in English 101. Roughly 80% of students enrolled in all AY 2018-19 English 101 sections were first-year students.

For additional information, see English 101 [WRTG] Assessment or contact the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning.