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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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As a part of the project for our upcoming accreditation, the WAC Director, the Writing Advisory Board, Assessment and Evaluation have drafted a working plan for assessing "W" or Writing Intensive courses at Minnesota State University, Mankato. The working plan includes

  • an Indirect Assessment Tool for Students taking, and Instructors teaching "W" courses
  • a Direct Assessment Tool to establish a baseline understanding of how students learn to write at MSU
  • a plan for synthesizing, reporting, and creating focus groups to address the writing program on campus

The Indirect Assessment Tool will be administered every other year to instructors and students participating in "W" courses. The tool will be sent to instructors electronically, and will be sent to the students along with their Course Evaluation. The Writing Director will analyze the results of the Indirect Tool and create a small, formative report based on the data gathered. That report will be used in the subsequent year by any relevant community/writing program members, and/or the Writing Advisory Board, the Chairs/Directors, and the Dean's Council to create focus groups that can respond to any issues that may arise.

At the end of a three year period, the WAC Director will create a large, summative report about the status of the writing program to be shared with any relevant communities. This summative report will include data gathered from the Direct Assessment Tool as well.

In odd numbered years, "W" courses will be assessed according to the Direct Tool, a progressive-model rubric based on the Values Rubric and the "W" learning goals. In the first cycle, 100-200-level "W" courses will be assessed (e.g. 2015), in the second cycle, 300-400-level "W" courses will be assessed (e.g. 2017).

The summative report including data from the Indirect and Direct Assessment Tools, and possible focus groups must be completed by the WAC Director by Spring of her 3rd year. The report will be disseminated to the Writing Advisory Board, "W" instructors, the Assessment and Evaluation, General Education and Diversity, and UCAP Submeet and Confers, and to relevant administrative bodies such as the Chairs/Directors and Dean's Council. Within the first two years of the current WAC Director's term, one focus group will be created to include members of service units and members of service areas, so that data can be generated from those communities.