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navigation index Chapter 7:  Remediating Writing Assessment

In “Chapter 7,” Penrod explains the consequences of "convergence" on writing assessment with respect to Bolter and Grusin’s notion of “remediation.” To highlight principle arguments from Penrod’s chapter, I have presented them in a Question and Answer (Q&A) format below--a succinct, common rhetorical strategy for emphasizing key points in an online format.

Q: How is Bolter and Grusin’s concept of “remediation” related to “convergence”?

A: Penrod discusses the need for compositionists to take notice of new technologies with respect to Bolter and Grusin’s notion of “remediation” in which new technological forms adapt or abandon older technologies (p. 157). She points out that writing assessment is an “old” technological form while computers represent the “new” technological form (p. 157).

Q: What kind of writing assessment practices should compositionists’ employ?

A: Penrod argues for communal, values-based assessments concerning the issue of technological convergence.  Compositionists must articulate what expertise they value in students’ hypertextual writing environments through “sophisticated writing models” and ongoing assessment (p. 158). She explains that she wrote her book to help writing assessment transcend the holistic assessment models that persevere in current software programs and adopt e-portfolio and online portfolio systems. The book should help compositionists “articulate” their values in assessing e-texts within their localized assessment contexts (p. 170).  Compositionists must develop assessment models for e-texts, or models will be imposed upon them.

Q: How do “remediated” forms of writing assessment alter traditional assessment instruments and writing assignments?

A: Penrod asserts that remediated online writing assessment results in immediacy, which abandons inflexible rules and rubrics for appropriateness and competence. In addition, “remediated writing assessment” must consider the “logic of the image” with respect to e-texts (p. 167).  Online writing activities are “dynamic” and resist static, ideal representations of print texts for assessment (p. 163).  She warns against combining traditional assessment technology with computer technology only to remediate indirect assessment in other forms (p. 165). However, Penrod calls for the “syncretic avenue for remediated writing” with respect to integrating applicable, older writing assessment technologies with newer computer technologies (p. 169).