Pathways Assessment Overview

The Composition Program has created this page to guide and support instructors of ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 through the Pathways Assessment process. Pathways is the name of Virginia Tech’s General Education Program (i.e., courses that assure broad-based fluencies across foundational learning experiences in a variety of disciplines). The Composition Program’s compliance with this assessment initiative is essential to maintaining the program’s favorable standing with routine accreditation processes in accordance with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Spring 2019 Workshops

With generous support from a Pathways Assessment Grant, the Composition Program invites all Composition Program instructional staff (instructors, faculty, GTAs) to attend one of two Pathways Assessment workshops this spring. Those who attend one workshop will receive a $200 stipend at the end of the semester (i.e., in June), upon submitting assessment data for your section(s). At the workshop, attendees will begin with a discussion of the concepts and outcomes applicable to first-year writing, before being guided through the assessment process, applying the ratings rubric to a sample of student writing, learning how to submit assessment data 1) using a worksheet or 2) using the online form, and sharing in questions and answers. Workshops are scheduled as follows:

Friday, March 1, 2-4 p.m., Shanks 370/380
Friday, April 5, 2-4 p.m., Shanks 370/380

Before the Workshop

Nothing is required of you before the workshop, but you may find the workshop more familiar if you take time beforehand to review the Pathways assessment process (Figure 1 below) and to view the Pathways assessment videos located online. You can also download a copy of an annotated assessment worksheet to gain an impression of what form the data will be in when you submit it.

Figure 1. Pathways Assessment Process. This timeline graphic expresses the five key steps for Pathways Assessment. The concepts and outcomes for ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 have been identified already. The workshop will give everyone who teaches first-year writing an opportunity to discuss together what the concepts and outcomes mean, how they apply to student work, and how to complete the assessment rubric this semester.

Workshop Hour One

  • Overview of the Pathways Assessment process
  • Review together the five Discourse outcomes and two Intercultural and Global Awareness outcomes applicable to ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 (Step 1 in Figure 1)
  • Discussion of appropriate artifacts for ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 (Step 2 in Figure 1)
  • Recommendations for when and how to assess student work (Step 3 in Figure 1)
  • Turning in ratings from your section(s); reviewing the systems for data collection: worksheet (paper) and online form (digital) (Step 4 in Figure 1)

Near the end of Hour One, we will take a 10 minute break.

Workshop Hour Two

  • Reading together a student sample artifact and applying the ratings rubric
  • Questions and answers about the process; remaining concerns

How to Prepare and Submit Pathways Assessment Data

We recommend applying the ratings rubric to the following major projects at the time of routine evaluation. That is, the Pathways process is best applied while you are assigning grades to student work as you would ordinarily.

ENGL1105, rhetorical analysis project
ENGL1106, source-based research project
If you apply the assessment process to any other paper, project, or artifact, please describe that project when you submit data.

Submit data for your section(s) in one of the following ways:

  • Use the worksheet to tally the ratings, then submit your data one section at a time in the online Google Form (preferable because this process also allows us to collect input about the Pathways Assessment process, generally).
  • Use the worksheet to tally the ratings, then submit paper copies to Derek Mueller (323 Shanks Hall, box 17).

Pathways Assessment data for Spring 2019 from ENGL1105 and ENGL1106 must be turned in no later than May 15, 2019. Data is required for all Pathways courses this semester. Stipends for Spring 2019 workshop attendees will be processed in June.