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Strategies to Measure Student Writing Skills in Your Disciplines

Workshop by Joan Hawthorne, Associate Provost for Assessment and Achievement, University of North Dakota

Friday, March 25, 2011
1:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Sky Room, Holmes Student Center


Dr. Joan Hawthorne
Joan Hawthorne

The purpose of this workshop is to examine means of enhancing student learning around NIU’s communication goal through expanded use of the communication rubric and other assessment tools. Skills and fluency in writing are developed when there is a campus-wide commitment to providing students with opportunities to practice their writing. But it is helpful to be able to provide consistent feedback on that writing, tempered by the standards and practices of individual disciplines. How can faculty in chemistry, education, or nursing – each with its own culture around communication – assess writing in ways that support campus-wide standards for excellence? Participants will leave this workshop with new ideas for assessment of student writing, greater comfort with the NIU communication rubric, and plans for adapting the rubric in ways that will make it more applicable to their own work with students.

Dr. Joan Hawthorne, currently serving as Director of Assessment and Accreditation at the University of North Dakota, has almost 25 years of experience in higher education. Her previous responsibilities have included directing the University Writing Center, initiating and directing a faculty-development-based Writing Across the Curriculum program, serving as assistant provost, and teaching. Graduate courses taught Assessment in Higher Education and Foundations of Education, and undergraduate teaching has been in areas such as writing, teaching methods, and honors. She has led many workshops on pedagogy, especially related to writing, and her most recent presentations and publications have focused on assessment and general education. Current research projects examine faculty perceptions of undergraduate learning and faculty as “university citizens.” Her undergraduate study was at South Dakota State University, and her graduate degrees are from the University of Colorado -Boulder and the University of North Dakota.

Tentative Workshop Outline:

Session (1:00 pm - 4:30 pm)