Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Topic: Validity of Holistic Scoring in Writing Assessment

Purpose of this blog: Review of interesting articles and ideas in past English education journals, K-12.

10-second review: “Holistic ratings should not be ruled out as a method of evaluating writing abilities, but those who use such ratings must seriously consider the question of the validity of the scores that result.” p 79.

Title: “The Validity of Using Holistic Scoring to Evaluate Writing: A Critical overview.” D Charney. Research in the Teaching of English (February 1984), 65-81.

Quote: “The research available suggests that even in carefully supervised rating sessions, holistic ratings may be unduly influenced by superficial features of writing samples” [like handwriting and spelling]. P. 65.

Quote: “A reliable measurement is capable of replication under equivalent conditions So a reliable method of assessing writing ability would yield a consistent judgment of a student’s abilities if applied again, all else being equal. A valid measurement assesses what it claims to assess.” P. 65.

Comment: So if the raters rely on perceptions of surface features (like handwriting, spelling and grammar) in writing, true writing ability—unity, coherence, structure and word choice—would not be measured accurately by holistic scoring. RayS.

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