Green Squiggly Lines:

Historical Contexts

To move toward the authentic, communication-based forms of assessment envisioned by proponents of electronic portfolios, we need to re-integrate micro- and macro-levels of reading, responding to, and evaluating student work. This process of integration is best accomplished by turning toward students and developing localized evaluation criteria that reflect a process of negotiation among teachers and students. While Daiute's (1983), Bean's (1983), and Collier's (1983) articles provide a ground work upon which models of reading, responding to, and evaluating writing in computer-mediated environments can be developed, we also need to turn toward concepts of problem-posing and democratic communication. Informed by the ideas of Ira Shor (1996) and Patricia Bizzell (2000, 1999, 1997), these models of reading and assessing student work in computer-mediated environments could incorporate the mundane, the intimate, the everyday-micro-, sentence-level discourse-without abandoning the macro-level concerns of interaction, description, self-reflection, and diachronic assessment found in electronic portfolios.

The difficult-and perhaps contradictory-territory I am trying to explore is a space where standardized English is-or is not-incorporated into students' compositions through the intervention of Microsoft Word's grammar checker and where reading, responding and evaluating is also richly contextualized and reflective through a process of communication-based assessment.

How have we arrived here? And, should we be overjoyed or terrified at reaching this place?