Graduation Term


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of English: English Studies

Committee Chair

Joyce R Walker


This dissertation examines the role of writing assessment in college composition courses, and how issues including learning aversion, access to technology, and white-language supremacy can harm our assessment practices and pedagogy. Writing assessment is one of the most important aspects of teaching and is a significant factor in shaping students’ attitudes about their abilities as writers. While writing assessment is of tremendous importance, effectively and equitably assessing student writing can be difficult, especially when teaching diverse student populations. In an effort improve the quality of writing assessment, this dissertation focused on developing Student-Centric Learning Contracts (SCLCs) as a more effective alternative to conventional forms of assessment. SCLCs are a hybrid of labor and learning contracts, that aim to provide students with increased agency in the assessment process. In SCLCs, students and instructors work collaboratively to outline what a student wants to learn, how they will learn it, and what kinds of language will help them reach their audience.


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