Welcome to the Yeshiva University Learning Assessment website. At Yeshiva University we are committed to student learning assessment in order to ensure that our colleges and schools, programs/majors, and courses are successfully fulfilling their educational missions, goals, and objectives. The purpose of this website is to provide faculty and staff with assessment-related tools and resources to help guide development and implementation of effective learning assessment plans.
For many incoming college writers, the expectation of
revision can be daunting. Completing an essay is often seen as challenging and
time consuming enough; figuring out how—or why—to rewrite it can, at least at
first, seem frustratingly superfluous. Furthermore, because students think in
such individual ways, write with such different tendencies, and come into
college with such varied experiences of reading, there’s no one way to revise
or to teach revision. However, because revision is such a fundamental aspect of
the writing (and thinking) process, it has long been a priority among the
skills First Year Writing courses aim to help students develop.
With the elusive nature of revision in mind, we recently
focused our assessment efforts on trying to better understand student
experiences of revision.
We knew, going in, that across all sections of FYWR, students
have the same opportunities for acquiring feedback. They may engage in peer
review sessions, visit the Writing Center, and/or discuss work-in-progress with
their professors. As FYWR instructors, we hope that all of these interactions
help students develop more confidence in and understanding of how to make
improvements to their work. What we didn’t know, though, was in what ways this
feedback translates into concrete changes in student essays.
At the end of the Fall, 2015 semester, three FYWR
instructors collected a random pool of student work, for which each sample
included both an original draft or essay and a revision. Based on our goals and
outcomes for the course, we created a rubric that distinguished between
students being able to identify the need for revision and students being able
to effectively implement revision (based on evidence including but not limited
to expanding, deleting, and reorganizing).
Each instructor then read both the original and the revision
of each sample, scoring the work of the other two classes (meaning no one
scored her own students’ writing). We started off with a “norming” session to
ensure commonality across our evaluations.
In general, it was very interesting to see the range of what
students changed. Specifically, it became evident that the students who made
the most dramatic and the most successful changes to their work had been given
two separate assignments, with two separate grades, and comprehensive
instructor feedback between versions. Furthermore, as part of the work for the
course, this same group of students also read and discussed academic articles
about the revision process. In this way, it was exciting to see how the
metacognitive consideration of revision directly supported and informed
individual student choices and willingness to make global, “big picture”
For all the professors involved, this assessment proved
worthwhile. Revision is a messy process, which can be hard to measure. Yet, due
to our assessment efforts, we were also able to determine specific, tangible
measures, such as earning separate grades for separate versions and reading
more about the revision process, to utilize across sections.
Wilf Campus Writing Center, By Dr. Lauren Fitzgerald, Director
English Department, Stern College for Women, by Dr. Linda Shires, Department Chair; Dr. Nora Nachumi, Assessment Coordinator (2013, 2014)
Mathematical Science, Yeshiva University, by Dr. Thomas Otway, Professor and Department Chair
Physics Department, Stern College for Women, by Dr. Anatoly I. Frenkel, Department Chair
Please contact us if there is any aspect of this website or student learning assessment that you would like to discuss.
Rachel J. Ebner, PhD
Director of Student Learning Assessment
Belfer Hall 1300A; 215 Lex. Room 606
212.960.5400, ext. email@example.com
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
500 West 185th Street
New York, NY 10033
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