March 15, 2011 3:30 - 5 p.m. E-501
Dr. Susan Young (Chief Reader and Senior Faculty Fellow, CUNY Office of Assessment)
Dr. Danielle Insalaco-Egan (Director of Testing and Student Advisement)
1. Professional Workshops
It was suggested that the workshop schedule be readjusted so that participants have the opportunity to attend as many sessions as possible.
2. Development of the New CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW)
A) The CATW was established in a two year time span as opposed to the usual five years it takes for approval of an exam. Faculty developed the readings and edited readings. Field testing has been done to see how well a student would perform on each form of a test. Before the decision is made about each form, the Advisement Committee looks over everything.
B) Students should have at least three main ideas, and write between 300-350 words. They must have a summary. Paperback dictionaries are permitted, or they may use a thesaurus or an ESL dictionary. Electronic devices are not allowed.
3.) New Student Score Report Process
Previously, when students took the ACT writing they would only get one score back with no additional information. Now, we have a score report which provides detail of what their score means. Faculty get their class roster and test results of their students. Score reports get distributed to the students. Faculty are very positive about the new score reports because they can now advise their students more easily. Students soon will be able to access their score reports through the Hobson's VIP page which can be useful and helpful for both faculty and staff also.
4.) Evaluating the CATW
A) Each reader assigns a level of performance on a rubric. The rubric is a six-point scale with several domains. They are evaluated on five different criteria:
- critical response - students must respond to the text and stay on the topic
- development of ideas - how well the students are able to integrate their ideas
- structure of the response - did the student put together a distinct beginning, middle, and ending
- sentence and word choice
The last two criteria give a much more accurate sense of where students are in terms of language. Spelling counts.
B) It is preferable for students to receive scores of "4" rather than "3" or below. Competency and consistence in terms of completeness is what is looked for to get a "4". To make an analogy between a "4" and a student's grade, it is equivalent to a "C" student.
C) The test helps determine whether students are ready for ENG101 course work. If it is identified that ideas are good, but grammar is weak they will get points off because of poor communication.
5.) Grading on Scan Sheets
There are five domians on a scan sheet for each reader to score. The scoring is as follows: The first three domains are doubled. The last two domains are not doubled; they are singled. A passing grade would be a total score of 56 or better.
6.) Booklet and Scan Sheet Process
After every writing test, arrangements are made for test booklets and scan sheets to go over to Queens College. Tests are graded and materials are returned to LaGuardia's Testing Office. A score of 56 or better is passing and would get a local code of 996 on the student's SIMS record. A score of 55 or less is failing and the booklets go to the ELA (Education and Language Acquisition) department to get evaluated for appropriate course placement. However, many failing booklets get leveled to ENG099. All evaluations are done blindly, meaning they only look at the essay written in the test booklet and nothing else that could make a false judgement to determine their test score or course placement.
7.) Questions & Answers
Q. How do you make determinations of an ESL student?
A. There are experts that can determine this. They look at what an ESL student does differntly compared to an ENG student. It is not only the language that is evaluated, but they can identify if the student has issues understanding the reading. ESL performance is statistically insignificant compared to other writers. By identifying an ESL student, they are trying to avoid setting the student up for failure.
Q. Are there any books to prepare for the exam?
A. No, but Dr. Young will have a discussion soon on how to help students practice. It is planned to have a free book.
Q. Is it true that ENZ099 is not in effect anymore?
A. Yes, but there will still be the usual week long intensive courses. They accommodate students schedule a little better.
Q. What is ESC?
A. It is a new accelerated course designed only for new students. It is an ESL course, but equivalent to ENG099. Student may get a pre-requisite or co-requisite message. It will be worth about 9 or 10 equated credits.
Q. What are the qualifications to get into ESA, and how does it differentiate from ESL?
A. This question is on follow-up for a better explanation. However, ESA courses are based on recommendation in order to get into it. The course is taught differently than ESL.
Q. How much time is allowed for experimental courses?
A. There is a two year limit.
Professional Development Days will take place on April 6 and 13, 2011. The next formal meeting is on May 3.