The WAC Program, in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and FCTL, has been awarded a CAH Research Incentive Grant to develop a prototype assessment instrument for writing in the sciences. The tool will allow instructors to get a “snapshot” of the quality of writing in their course and to create customized methods of writing instruction based on the results of the assessment. The prototype tool will be developed based on the “Lab 2” Chemistry 2046 course, which serves about 2000 UCF students each academic year. According to the requirements of the grant, the project will be completed by summer of 2012. Our further plans include the expansion of this work into other STEM disciplines.
The project will consist of two stages. During the first stage, we will investigate the best practices in portfolio-based writing assessment, particularly in the sciences. During the second stage, we will conduct several sessions with faculty from the Department of Chemistry during which they will read, assess, and discuss samples of student writing randomly selected from different sections of the CHEM 2046 Lab course.