Studying students' opinions : using surveys in writing program assessment

Lucus A. Palosaari



Administrators of writing programs are regularly faced with the problem of assessing the learning that students gain in their coursework. Many methods of assessment exist, but most have some problems associated with them related to the amount of time it takes to perform the study or the scope of the knowledge gained relative to number of participants or volume of information collected. This pilot study investigates the use of surveys of student opinion for their potential to assess composition instruction at Michigan Technological University. The primary goal of this pilot study is to test the effectiveness of using data collected in surveys to make recommendations for improvement of the composition program at Michigan Tech. The report concludes with recommendations for additional study and refinements to the instruments used.