Equitable UDL Writing Assessments

Thanks for checking out my teaching resources! You’re free to use anything here, and I just ask that you credit me and cite my materials if/when you use these resources (APA citation below).

EQUITABLE WRITING ASSESSMENTS UNDER A UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR LEARNING (UDL) FRAMEWORK:

Writing is one of the hardest areas to assess, and it’s even harder to assess equitably. I have found Felicia Rose Chavez’s The Anti-Racist Writing Workshop: How to Decolonize the Creative Classroom to be invaluable in re-thinking how I give feedback on writing to make the process more flexible and to foster more student engagement. I’ve adapted Chavez’s model for the composition classroom, and here is the method of assessment that I now use to give student-centered feedback. I’ve copied this method directly from a writing assignment to show you the language I use. Again, please use or adapt as you like with a citation of my materials (APA citation below).

REQUIREMENTS FOR INSTRUCTOR FEEDBACK:

  • In the “Submission Comments” box, please write a brief process letter reflecting on the process of writing the essay.

If you’re having trouble coming up with something to write in the process letter, here are some prompts you might use to guide your reflection (don’t feel that you need to address all of them or any of them, actually): What did you learn through writing the essay? What class activities were helpful in writing the essay? What do you feel you did well in the essay? What was challenging about writing the essay? If you were to continue working on the essay, what would you want to work on improving?

  • At the end of the process letter, please write 2-3 questions for me to use as a guide for instructor feedback. This will ensure that my comments will be focused on what you have identified as useful for your own writing and learning.

If you’re having trouble coming up with feedback questions, here are some examples of questions you might ask (feel free to use or adapt these or come up with different questions): Did my thesis make an arguable claim and how could that claim be stronger or clearer? What did you think worked particularly well in my essay? Did my examples seem to support my points well, and where could I have used more examples? How did my organization work, and how could I make my essay flow better or make my ideas easier to follow? Did you learn anything or gain a new perspective from reading my essay, and what was it that you took away from my essay?

  • Also in the process letter, please let me know if you want to opt out of the grading rubric. If you don’t specifically opt out, I will go ahead and complete a grading rubric for you. If you do opt out of the grading rubric, I’ll simply give you a numerical grade without the breakdown of points in the rubric.

If you do not submit a process letter with instructor questions for me, I will assume that you do not need/want feedback from me at this time, and I will give you the following form comment (But don’t worry if you decide that you want feedback after all! As you can see in the form comment, you can still ask for feedback at any time):

Thank you for submitting your essay. Please refer to the grading rubric for the breakdown of points. Please also message me through Canvas messaging if you have questions or would like feedback. Keep in mind that I don’t check the comments in the “submission comment” box after I have graded the submission, so the best way to contact me is through Canvas messaging.

Ma, D. (2019, July 22). Equitable UDL Writing Assessments.  
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