The effects of Write Score formative assessment on student achievement

Janice M Fox, Tennessee State University


In an ex post facto causal-comparative research design, this study investigated the effectiveness of a formative writing assessment program, Write Score, on increasing student writing achievement. Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) reading language arts and writing scores from 2012 were utilized for this study. The independent variable in this study was the formative assessment intervention, Write Score. The dependent variables in this study were TCAP Reading Language Arts scale scores and TCAP Writing holistic scores. Data were collected over the course of the 2011-2012 school year and involved 188 eighth grade students from two schools in the Upper Cumberland Region of Middle Tennessee. The experimental group, who received Write Score, was referred to as School A, and the control group who received traditional writing instruction without the Write Score formative assessment, as School B. Both groups received traditional writing instruction programs embedded in the reading and language arts program. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and stepwise test of multiple regression were used to check the main effects of each variable. The covariates used in these analyses were TCAP Grade 5 Writing scores and TCAP Reading Language Arts Scale Scores. The ANCOVAs did not reveal a statistically significant difference between School A, those who received the Write Score intervention, and School B, the control. At a 95% confidence level, the stepwise method noted that 67% of the variance in the 2012 TCAP Writing assessment for School A was accounted for by the TVAAS proficiency score and that 72% of the variance in the 2012 TCAP writing score was accounted for by the Grade 5 reading language arts score and TVAAS proficiency score together. It was concluded that while differences between the Write Score formative assessment and student TCAP achievement were observed, no statistically significant main effect was found. Conclusions noted the need for educators to use rubrics and monitoring instruments to help eliminate variability. From this study, it is recommended that practitioners increase time for students to write across the curriculum incorporating content rich text, and incorporate a combination of technology and human holistic scoring to increase specific formative feedback.

Subject Area

Language arts|Educational tests & measurements

Recommended Citation

Janice M Fox, "The effects of Write Score formative assessment on student achievement" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3587647.