When creating an assessment plan to measure writing outcomes for a university-wide writing across the curriculum (WAC) program, administrators considered multi-layered evaluation methods for benchmarking and measuring internal growth of students. Although assessment plans must address these needs, the actual assessment practices must be flexible, accessible to faculty, and feasible--based on existing technological structures and data systems at an institution. The writing assessment that is provided addresses all of these elements and is offered as a model for other programs.

For this particular study, the internal aspect of the assessment plan that tracks growth of students over time is the centerpiece of the system. This online WAC rubric measures five distinct components of writing: Focus, Content, Organization, Style, and Language Conventions. Technical nuances of measuring longitudinal growth per individual student as well as the essential variables in data collection for future long-term meaningful analysis were considered when creating the online system. Data collected and analyzed through the system are shared. This online rubric, adaptable at other institutions, is offered as a method to balance the tension of large-scale accountability with course-specific writing assessment.