Teaching six-trait assessment as a means to improving student writing


Ohrtman, Carol E.. (2007). Teaching six-trait assessment as a means to improving student writing. Theses and Dissertations Collection, University of Idaho Library Digital Collections.

Teaching six-trait assessment as a means to improving student writing
Ohrtman, Carol E.
Rhetoric--Study and teaching--Evaluation
The purpose of this study was to determine whether a ten-hour workshop focusing students on writing assessment would improve the writing produced by those students. The study, conducted in two twelfth-grade English classrooms at a rural high school in the Pacific Northwest, used a workshop design based on the six-trait system for analyzing writing developed by the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory. Students in four class periods received instruction in literature, while students in four other class periods participated in the writing workshop training. It was determined that a study of this type should be undertaken after examining the responses of teachers who were given the same workshop. Those responses indicated positive changes both in the attitudes with which the teachers approached the teaching of writing and in their own writing processes and products.;A quasi-experimental design was used for this study. The independent variable was direct instruction in the six-trait writing system for analytically assessing both narrative and expository essays. The dependent variables were the holistic score and the six-trait writing scores given by trained raters to the students' essays written in response to the same writing prompts. Two pieces of writing were collected from each student, a pretest and a posttest. Though changed in their specifics, both essay prompts were in the style used in the Idaho Direct Writing Assessment. Raters trained specifically to use each process analyzed the student responses using both trait analysis and holistic analysis methods. In this two-treatment repeated measures design, the resulting data were analyzed using a one-way analysis of covariance, with the pretest writing scores as the covariate and the holistic and six-trait writing scores by trained evaluators the dependent variables.;The holistic scores showed 90 percent of the student responses were proficient on the holistic assessment. The data analysis of the six-trait assessment scores found no statistically significant differences between the writing performance of the two treatment groups in the traits of Ideas (content), Organization, and Voice. Statistically significant differences resulted for the traits of Sentence Fluency and Conventions, and the results for Word Choice approached statistical significance.
Thesis (Ph. D., Education)--University of Idaho, Fall 2007.
Major Professor:
George Canney.
Defense Date:
Fall 2007.
Format Original:
xiv, 116 leaves :ill. ;29 cm.

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