Writing as Assessment

From: wecooks@ix.netcom.com
Subject: Writing as Assessment
Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 20:43:34 -0800

Improvement of writing skills is one of the major aims of our school site 
plan. As such, we are each trying to include more writing in our classes. I 
have decided to have most of my tests be essay type, rather than short 
answer, so as to both encourage writing per se and also to encourage the 
students to organize their thoughts about the topics. I would appreciate 
feed back on these questions and the rubric. My students are grades 9-12, 
ages 16-20. About 10% are ESL kids, rest a mixture of reading on a 5th grade 
level to should be in college. 

Sound--Using complete sentences and wonderful English.....( and labelled 
drawings, if desired) 
	How does an oscilloscope show us: a) pure tone b) interference c) two 
	tones that are a little different in wavelength d) harmonic resonance?
Sex Ed--What are the major differences between a viral infection 
	(Herpes/AIDS) and a bacterial infection (Syphilis/Gonorrhea)?
	Your answer should include: a) major characteristics (visual, 
	biological and size) of (several types of )viruses and (three types 
	of) bacteria (use can use labelled illustrations, if you desire) 
	b) what the different white blood cells do in each type of infection 
	(phagocytosis vs. antibodies) 
	c) what type of medicine (or shots) a doctor would use to cure/prevent 
	such a disease 

Antarctica, Iceland, Mars-- Using complete sentences and wonderful 
What volcanic evidence leads scientists to conclude that there is NO plate 
tectonic activity on Mars? Your answer should include: 
	a) characteristics (visual and type of eruption) of two major types of 
	volcanoes on Earth 
	b) where these volcanoes are found with relation to our plate tectonic 
	c) major difference between the characteristic Terran volcanoes and 
	Martian volcanoes (ex. Olympus Mons and Hawaiian volcanoes) 

4/4 		A-Exemplary 	Concise, well organized, consistent, complete 
Followed all directions Reader does not have to guess at meanings Precise, 
varied vocabulary, good grammar and spelling Neatly written or typed 
Scientific facts correct and complete 
3/4 		B-Standard 		Well organized Followed most or all directions 
Generally clear intent Sufficient detail Correct vocabulary, good grammar 
and spelling Neatly written or typed Scientific facts correct and complete 
2/4 		C-Average 		Inconsistent, satisfactory organization, 
details lacking Did not follow some directions, missing small part of paper 
Reader must guess at intent Vocabulary imprecise, many grammar and/or 
spelling errors Handwriting hard to read Scientific facts mostly correct or 
1/4 		D-Below Average 	Not adequately developed Hasty roundabout 
reference to assignment (looks like you wrote it walking to class) Little or 
no detail, messy writing, poor grammar and spelling Late, did not follow 
directions, did not complete major part(s) of paper Scientific facts 
incorrect and/or incomplete 
0 Zero 	F-Failing 		Paper is blank, unreadable, or does not 
address assigned topic Paper not turned in by assigned time or by make-up 
time. Scientific facts incorrect and/or incomplete 

So, what do you all think about using these for assessing my students?  
Please share what you use for assessment at your grade level.  Thanks, jkc