In this episode of JWA CONVERSATIONS, Dr. Michelle Neely discusses her recent JWA article “Helping Faculty Self-Regulate Emotional Responses in Writing Assessment: Use of an “Overall Response” Rubric Category.” In many writing assessments, raters score writing either by offering holistic “overall” scores, or by scoring carefully-defined traits. Both techniques have limitations: while holistic scores may produce opaque, inactionable data, raters may feel trait scoring overly-constrains their responses to texts and imposes an “external” set of values. In our conversation, Dr. Neely describes a writing assessment which used both overall and trait scores, and suggests the technique may help raters navigate emotionally-fraught scenes of writing assessment and better self-regulate their responses to texts in scoring settings. Combining holistic and trait scores may provide raters with an opportunity for emotional self-regulation, potentially reducing psychometric error in rater scores.
Dr. Neely also describes how prior experiences with writing assessments in WAC settings lead to a focus on rater emotions, and how teachers can use their emotional responses to student texts as information for providing feedback.
A transcript of the conversation is available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BJs-1TY7qpyvpmflOxE_dVopHLfqLT0Z/view?usp=sharing