Sheila C. Ewing

The effects of time and instruction on writing performance of eighth-grade students in writing assessment situations

Sheila C. Ewing

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D. (Educational Psychology)
  • Date: 1992; pp: 182
  • Advisor: Asher, J. William; Lauer, Janice M.
  • Source: DAI-A 54/01, p. 154, Jul 1993
  • Subjects: Education, Tests And Measurements (0288); Education, Curriculum And Instruction (0727)
  • ProQuest Document Number:
  • ISBN:
  • UMI Number: AAT 9301289

Abstract:

    • This study examined student performance under two different writing-assessment conditions to determine whether students who receive different types of writing instruction are affected by assessment conditions that differ from instructional conditions. The study grew out of concerns that writing-process students, when compared to traditional (non-process) writing students, are placed at a disadvantage in standardized, timed writing assessments that do not allow students time to engage fully in the writing process.
    • Specific variables in the study are the effect of time and instruction on the amount and quality of writing, amount and type of prewriting, and attitudes of students in large-scale, standardized, writing-assessment situations. Subjects in the study were 349 eighth-graders from four similar middle schools in Indiana. Of these, 183 were reported to be receiving writing-process instruction, and 166 were reported to be receiving traditional writing instruction. All students were assessed under two conditions: a 30-minute writing sample that did not allow for prewriting, and a 45-minute writing sample that provided an opportunity to prewrite. Variations of the same writing prompt were used for the two writing sessions. The two groups were compared on quality of the two writing samples, as measured by holistic scoring; length of writing samples; amount and type of prewriting in the 45-minute condition; and responses to a 14-item survey.
    • Results of the study indicate the following: (1) the writing-process students received higher holistic scores on writing samples in both 30-minute and 45-minute time conditions than did traditional writing students; (2) the writing-process students produced longer writing samples than traditional writing students in the 30-minute condition, but not in the 45-minute condition; (3) neither writing-process nor traditional writing students produced longer writing samples or received higher holistic scores in the 45-minute condition than they did in the 30-minute condition; (4) writing-process students produced more prewriting and different types of prewriting in the 45-minute condition than did traditional writing students; (5) writing-process and traditional writing students expressed different attitudes about writing on 8 of 14 survey items. Some of these results may be attributed to use of similar writing prompts and to different levels of motivation in the two time conditions.