Maroon and Write
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Assessment

Maroon and Write seeks to improve student writing across the University. To do so, Maroon and Write developed faculty through an intensive training program called Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence (MIWE). The MIWE program trains faculty on the use of pedagogical tools that enhance student writing. These MIWE faculty members then designate at least one undergraduate class to be their QEP class; however, these faculty members often reveal their implementation of writing-to-learn strategies in their other classes as well. As the program progresses, more MSU faculty will become MIWE faculty, and more students will be exposed to these writing-focused pedagogical tools.

Student Learning Outcomes

Throughout this initiative, Maroon and Write will track the following student learning outcomes to determine the success of the program:

  1. Students will write documents that are appropriately organized, well developed, and clearly worded.
  2. Students will use Standard English correctly, avoiding errors in syntax, grammar, and usage.
  3. Students will be more engaged in writing activities.

How student writing is evaluated

For the first two outcomes, MSU developed a rubric to evaluate student writing. This rubric assesses students’ writing ability to (1) identify a problem, (2) communicate a thesis, (3) provide support for the thesis, (4) use appropriate word choices, and (5) use Standard English correctly. Scores range from 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). Maroon and Write collected writing samples from seniors, including those who participated in QEP classes and those who did not. During the summer, two pairs of graders used the rubric to evaluate the writing samples. First, these graders read the document and determined a score, and then those graders compared their scores with their partners’ to arrive at a final score for the assignment. The writing samples were randomly distributed among the pairs of graders so they were not aware of which papers came from QEP classes, and the graders assessed students from various disciplines.

Results from the 2014-15 academic year

Data from the 2014-15 academic year based on 850 senior writing samples indicate that QEP courses lead to increased writing scores.


This chart indicates that seniors in QEP courses scored higher than their counterparts in non-QEP courses during 2014-15. For three of the components, the seniors in QEP courses scored significantly higher: Defining the problem, providing support for the argument, and correctness/ grammar.
View more details about the results of these t-tests >

Scores on Maroon and write rubric

This chart indicates that students who transferred in more than 30 credit hours scored significantly lower in all five writing components.
View more details about the results of these t-tests >

Scores of transfer students on Maroon and write rubric

Students in QEP courses have no significant difference in their writing scores regardless of the number of hours they transferred in.
View more details about the results of these t-tests >

Scores of students taught by MIWE faculty

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