University Writing Center Assessment Plan 1. List the OBJECTIVES of the program. The University Writing Center will provide an accessible, comfortable, collaborative environment for writers of all abilities; foster the growth and confidence of writers by clarifying and promoting techniques of effective writing; collaborate with other departments and programs, including Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and English as a Second Language (ESL), in an effort to provide a comprehensive, consistent educational experience for all WSU students; serve as a writing resource for the university community and beyond through the Writing Center web page, presentations and workshops, and our Writer’s Hotline; enhance the academic experiences of writing consultants employed in the Writing Center by encouraging professional development and frequent selfreflection on their roles as tutors and writers. 2. Explain how the department or program will know the extent to which OBJECTIVES are achieved (alumni or other surveys, employment data, etc.). The Writing Center will gather feedback on its performance in a number of ways: evaluations by faculty, particularly developmental and ESL writing instructors quarterly evaluation of the writing center by student clients with standing appointments ongoing evaluation of the writing center by one-time or walk-in clients portfolios submitted by DEV 092 students follow-up study of selected clients (e.g., students who have successfully completed DEV 092 in the past three or four years) evaluations solicited from other clients (e.g., faculty requesting class presentations, users of the Writer’s Hotline or OWL) research projects carried out by writing consultants and administrative staff exit interviews with graduating writing consultants study of consultants’ post-writing center experiences 3. List the OUTCOMES of the program. The Writing Center will assess four learning and service outcomes: Improved student writing Increased student confidence about writing Enhanced academic experiences of writing consultants through professional development activities Satisfaction of student, faculty, and other users of the service 4. List and briefly describe the MEASURES that will be used to assess each learning outcome. Faculty evaluations will be used to gauge faculty perceptions of improvement in student writing and confidence (indirect measure) Client evaluations will be used to gauge clients perceptions of improvement in their writing (indirect measure), confidence (direct measure) and level of service (direct measure) DEV 092 portfolios provide a direct measure of improved student writing; student reflections included as part of the portfolio provide indirect measure of increased confidence Research projects carried out by writing consultants and administrative staff will be used to monitor writing improvement (a direct measure in that consultants see a client’s work each week); these projects are also a means of monitoring consultants’ progress as writing tutors (indirect measure supplemented by day-to-day dir4ect observation of administrative staff) Exit interviews with graduating writing consultants and studies of consultants’ post-writing center experience are means of assessing the writing center’s impact on its student employees Evaluations solicited from other clients measure their satisfaction with services, as will the rate of repeat uses 5. Describe how learning outcomes are made MEASURABLE and BENCHMARKS or other determinants of success are set. For the Likert-scaled sections of questionnaires and surveys, the target is having two-thirds of the responses fall into the “agree” and “strongly agree” range. In the tracking project, writing consultants and clients record a set of goals for the quarter, and the final report indicates the degree to which those goals are met. The other forms of assessment are primarily formative rather than summative. 6. Describe the process by which FINDINGS will be derived from the measures. Data from surveys and other regularly scheduled assessment activities are compiled by the administrative staff at the end of each quarter, with responses from weekly clients sorted according to their writing consultant. The administrative staff analyzes the data, looking for both numerical trends and patterns within anecdotal responses. 7. Describe the process by which findings are analyzed to determine what IMPROVEMENTS should be made to better meet objectives and learning outcomes. The administrative staff will evaluate writing center policies in light of findings and make adjustments as needed. Highlights of the clients’ evaluations are shared with the entire staff at a staff meeting early in the subsequent quarter, and each consultant sees his or her individual evaluations and is asked to write a brief reflection on their tutoring practices. More extensive reflection appears in the client tracking project each writing consultant carries out in the winter quarter. Findings will also be shared with the coordinators of developmental writing and ESL classes, who will be asked to provide additional suggestions for improvement and to ask for additional feedback from instructors in those courses. Whenever possible, the administrative staff of the Writing Center will meet with instructors during pre-term meetings in the fall. 8. Identify a TIMETABLE for assessment. Quarterly Assessment Annual Assessment Fall quarter Winter quarter Spring quarter Biennial Assessment Five-Year Assessment Client evaluations and DEV 092 portfolios Survey of DEV and ESL instructors Consultants’ tracking reports Exit interviews with graduating consultants General faculty survey, follow-up surveys of DEV 092 clients and other clients Post-employment consultant survey 9. Briefly explain how the program’s assessment plan supports and interacts with ACCREDITATION and LICENSURE requirements (if applicable). N/A 10. Describe how the objectives and learning outcomes of the program are COMMUNICATED to students and others. The Writing Center’s mission appears on its website and, in slightly different forms, on other publicity materials (e.g., bookmarks). The mission is also the core of the numerous presentations made to classes and organizations on campus. The objectives (along with Writing Center policies) are communicated to each regularly scheduled client during his or her first session of the term.