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Assessing the Writing Process: A Review of Current Practice ELL LSA

Odendahl, Nora; Deane, Paul
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Memorandum
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Writing Assessment, Writing Process, Writing Construct, Process Data, Large-Scale Assessments (LSA), State Assessments, Portfolio Assessment, English Language Learners (ELL), Alternative Assessment, Computer Software, Elementary Secondary Education


In this study, we examine the extent to which education agencies and assessment organizations assess the writing process in existing large-scale assessments, and where they do, what aspects of the writing process they assess and what types of assessments they use. Over the past 40 years, standards for teaching and assessing writing have come to emphasize that skilled writers control a rich writing process that includes a variety of skills that may not directly be in evidence in typical assessment contexts. Less progress has been made in extending the scope of writing assessment to cover these skills. We hope that this review will capture a snapshot of the state of the art and sketch some of the issues that need to be addressed in order to reduce the gap between assessment practice and modern understandings of the writing construct.

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