Assessing the writing achievement of young struggling writers: Application of generalizability theory

Steve Graham, Michael Hebert, Michael Paige Sandbank, Karen R. Harris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the number of writing samples needed to obtain a reliable estimate of young struggling writers' capabilities. It further assessed if performance in one genre was reflective of performance in other genres for these children. Second- and third-grade students (81 boys, 56 girls), who were identified as struggling writers in need of special assistance by their teacher and scored at the 25th percentile or lower on a norm-referenced story-writing test, wrote four compositions: a story, personal narrative, opinion essay, and informative text. Applying generalizability theory (G-theory), students' scores on three writing measures (total number of words [TNW], vocabulary diversity, and writing quality) for the four compositions were each portioned into variance due to the following sources: students, writing tasks, and the interaction between students and writing tasks. We found that 14, 8, and 11 compositions, respectively, would be needed to obtain a reliable estimate of these students' writing capabilities in terms of TNW, vocabulary diversity, and writing quality. Furthermore, how well these students wrote in one genre provided a weak prediction of how well they wrote in other genres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-82
Number of pages11
JournalLearning Disability Quarterly
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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writer
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genre
Vocabulary
student
vocabulary
Personal Narratives
performance
assistance
narrative
teacher
interaction

Keywords

  • assessment
  • at risk
  • writing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Health Professions(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Assessing the writing achievement of young struggling writers : Application of generalizability theory. / Graham, Steve; Hebert, Michael; Paige Sandbank, Michael; Harris, Karen R.

In: Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 39, No. 2, 01.01.2014, p. 72-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Graham, Steve ; Hebert, Michael ; Paige Sandbank, Michael ; Harris, Karen R. / Assessing the writing achievement of young struggling writers : Application of generalizability theory. In: Learning Disability Quarterly. 2014 ; Vol. 39, No. 2. pp. 72-82.
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