What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing

  • Writing Assessment, writing program, history of writing, composition studies, first-year composition, case study

By Bob Broad

CoverThe result of a long-term study of one university's introductory composition program, Broad's approach to mapping the values that inform writing evaluation is empirically grounded, painstakingly analyzed, yet flexible, human, and pedagogically wise. Not simple, but surely practical, his method yields a more satisfactory process of exploration and a more useful representation of the values by which compositionists actually evaluate their students. With this important study, Broad moves the field far beyond rubrics in teaching and assessing writing. What We Really Value traces the origins of traditional rubrics within the theoretical and historical circumstances out of which they emerged, then holds rubrics up for critical scrutiny in the context of contemporary developments in the field. As an alternative to the generic character and decontextualized function of scoring guides, he offers dynamic criteria mapping, a form of qualitative inquiry by which writing programs (as well as individual instructors) can portray their rhetorical values with more ethical integrity and more pedagogical utility than rubrics allow.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter



Chapter 1. To Tell the Truth: Beyond Rubrics

Chapter 2. Studying Rubric-Free Assessment at City University: Research Context and Methods

Chapter 3. Textual Criteria: What They Really Valued, Part 1

Chapter 4. Contextual Criteria: What They Really Valued, Part 2

Chapter 5. A Model for Dynamic Criteria Mapping of Communal Writing Assessment


Appendix A. Assignments for English 1 Essays

Appendix B. Selected Sample Texts from City University

Appendix C. Tabulation of Votes on Sample Texts

Appendix D. Sample Interview Questions

Appendix E. Explanation of References to City University Transcripts



About the Author

Publication Information: Broad, Bob. (2003). What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing. Utah State University Press. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/usupress_pubs/140

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