LD@3 – Developing consensual assessment to evaluate writing development: success and pitfalls

26 Aug 2020 - 26 Aug 2020

Time: 15:00 – 16:00

Presenter(s): Ursula Canton and Daniela Zahn, Glasgow Caledonian University

Location: Online via Google Meet


Like many learning and writing developers, we see writing as a complex social act, and our teaching and conceptual thinking is strongly influenced by the concept of academic literacies. Writing, in this understanding, is difficult to define, complex, situated and not easy to capture by most rubrics-based writing tests that do not take this into account. This dilemma led to our search for an instrument that would allow Learning Developers to evaluate the impact of their teaching on students’ ability to communicate well with their readers. Such an instrument already exists for creativity, where Amabile (1982, 1996) has demonstrated consensus, even if there is no universal definition of what makes a thing creative. It could be argued that successful writing is similar: based on experience readers can recognise texts that work better (or not so well) in different situations. Following conceptual work (Canton. 2018), we conducted a first study that suggests that some tacit consensus exists (Zahn, Canton et al. 2020). Here we present the insights gained from a second, ALDInHE-funded study and reflect on the challenges along the way of developing our instrument.


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