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Attitudinal Aspects Of Assessing Student Writing

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.84.1 - 2.84.11



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Marilyn Dyrud

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2647

Attitudinal Aspects of Assessing Student Writing

Marilyn A. Dyrud Oregon Institute of Technology


For many instructors, regardless of academic field, evaluating student writing is a thankless task, one that requires a seemingly endless amount of time. Consequently, attitudes regarding assessment may be less than positive. This paper explores faculty attitudinal aspects of grading student writing by examining the results of a survey administered to engineering technology faculty at Oregon Institute of Technology, identifying concerns, and offering suggestions.


Grading: it's the bane of many a teacher's existence. After a full day of teaching classes, organizing labs, answering student queries, attending committee meetings, and--just for good measure--working on a professional paper, that stack of student papers looms large at the edge of the desk. Less than joyous epithets arise at the thought of tackling this hours-long project. Furthermore, the excitement and enthusiasm of classroom interaction may pale when an instructor faces the written products of a student's thoughts. If, however, we can recognize and adjust our attitudes towards grading, that enthusiasm might re-emerge. This paper explains the results of a writing assessment attitude survey conducted at Oregon Institute of Technology, identifies areas of concern, and offers suggestions for improvement.

The Survey

In informal corridor and cafeteria conversation, faculty are not shy about expressing their discontent regarding student writing. As a communications instructor who has frequent contact with technical faculty, I decided to explore these complaints via a survey, in hopes of pinpointing areas of concern and offering suggestions that would help alleviate the frustration of technical faculty as they deal with the paper load. All 43 full-time engineering technology faculty were sent the "Writing Assessment Attitude Survey" (Appendix A), requesting demographic information, course data, and personal opinions on a variety of issues related to evaluating student writing. Of that number, 46.5% (20) were returned. Not all respondents, however, answered all questions, and not all included a sample of graded student writing. Some of the questions also required multiple responses.


Instructors queried represent all engineering technology programs offered at OIT (civil/surveying, mechanical/manufacturing, laser-optics, electronics, computer hardware and

Dyrud, M. (1997, June), Attitudinal Aspects Of Assessing Student Writing Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6428

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