Examples of Assessment by Institution

Carleton College: To meet the College’s portfolio requirement, students at the end of their sophomore year must submit three to five papers demonstrating their ability to write effectively in different rhetorical and disciplinary contexts. The papers must be "authenticated" by instructors, who certify that the papers were written for their classes and indicate if they have since been revised. Finally, students write reflective essays about their writing to introduce the portfolios.  Each portfolio must represent at least two of the college's four curricular divisions (Arts and Literature, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Mathematics/Natural Sciences) and must include at least one paper from the student's "Writing Requirement" course. Together, the papers must also demonstrate their author's mastery of each of several key writing skills—the ability to report on observation, to analyze complex information, to provide interpretation, to use and document sources, and to articulate and support a thesis-driven argument.


In addition to assessing the student's success in these areas, faculty readers also provide feedback on the quality of writing. Each portfolio is rated on whether it "rarely," "usually," or "consistently" demonstrates attention to audience and purpose, clarity of prose, clear organization, effective use of evidence, distinctive voice, appropriate diction, and control of error. During assessment, faculty readers assign one of three scores to every writing portfolio: "pass," "exemplary," or "needs work." Evaluating the portfolios, a task Carleton assigns to a volunteer group of "faculty readers," also provides opportunity for faculty development.

Carleton College