Authenticated writing assessments of agricultural education graduate students



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Texas A&M University


Lindner, Murphy, and Wingenbach (2002), noted that agricultural education's core is communication because it is the component that spreads a variety of ideas to a large group of people and is the essential form of education needed for scholarship. Research is needed to ensure that agricultural education students are taught to write, effectively and efficiently, an argument paper that establishes the following components: coherence, audience awareness, argument, summary, sources, and grammar. The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine if the writing competencies of the Doc@Distance graduate students have changed or improved based on the recommendations made in a previous study. A census of the Doc@Distance students was taken for this study. Thirty students submitted an argument writing sample that they wrote during the orientation week of their program in August 2003. The conclusions of this study found that 68.8% of the 2004 Doc@Distance Cohort suggested inadequacy in writing an argument paper, and 71.4% of the 2007 Doc@Distance Cohort suggested inadequacy in writing an argument paper. Ending Cohort 04 demonstrated weakness in coherence, argument, summary, and grammar. Beginning Cohort 07 demonstrated weakness in coherence, audience awareness, summary, and grammar. As a result of this study, it is recommended that a follow-up study be conducted on Cohort 07 in two years to determine if writing abilities for argument papers have changed and to assess the overall changes in argument-writing for this cohort. It is recommended that a study be conducted on Cohort 10 upon admission to determine their argument-writing ability. Ending Cohort 07 and Beginning Cohort 10 should be tested to determine if a difference exists between students completing the program and students entering the program. It is recommended that undergraduate agricultural education students be tested to determine their argument-writing competencies. It is recommended to compare and contrast on-campus agricultural education students and distance education students at Texas A&M University. Finally, it is recommended that Cohorts 07 and 10 be evaluated on their competencies to write data reports, narratives, and informative and research analysis papeers.