"Holistic assessment : what goes on in the raters' minds?"

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"Holistic assessment : what goes on in the raters' minds?"

 

Author: Chow, Ha-nai Hesione
Title: "Holistic assessment : what goes on in the raters' minds?"
Degree: M.A.
Year: 1997
Subject: English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching -- China -- Hong Kong -- Evaluation
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: iv, 76 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1428640
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4087
Abstract: The fact that raters disagree widely in holistic judgements of essays baffles many who are involved in ascertaining the reliability and validity of holistic assessment. In the past decades, a few studies have been conducted to examine whether the basis of such disagreements rests on difference weights raters give to the various quality traits of an essay. This study attempts to examine these quality traits and investigate the role of the surface features in influencing raters in a holistic assessment process. Using a think-aloud protocol, four experienced secondary teachers rated holistically eight essays written by secondary four (grade 10) students. They were further asked to give a content and a language grade separately to each essay after a second reading. The results show that although there is no significant correlation between the holistic score and the language score, the raters were found to be overwhelmingly influenced by certain surface features of the writing samples such as grammar accuracy, spelling and punctuation. These findings suggest that language accuracy at the surface level remains central in assessing students' writing in at least some teachers' minds.

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