The Directed Self-Placement Model
Description: Also known as “basic optional”, where students are assessed, but instead of mandatory placement, administration works to persuade students to take basic writing. Attempting to get them to do it because it’s necessary.
Credit Status: Students can choose ENG 098, which is a 3 credit hour, non-general-education-credit course. Programs can use this model with 100 level basic writing courses offering general education credit. This model was set up by Grand Valley State University.
Placement: WPA at Grand Valley State addresses an assembly of all incoming students during orientation, directing them to answer key questions such as:
“I read newspapers and magazines regularly” “In high school, I wrote several essays per year”
For students that answer “No” to these questions, the WPA makes the case for ENG 098, opting to let the students’ sign up for which course they feel fits for themselves.
Grading: Traditional grading, or ‘pass-fail’
Advantages: Student’s become responsible for their own literacy, and for placement in English Composition.
*Leads to less resentment *Motivates them to be more energetic, involved in the course the choose *Placement less expensive and time consuming *No local testing systems or portfolio assessment necessary *Generally pleases everyone
Disadvantages: Some basic writers might avoid basic writing course altogether, students could self place inaccurately, and underperformance.
“If self directed placement leads to significantly fewer basic writing sections, a loss of income generating credit hours or critical program mass may lead to a marginalized program without resources to serve its constituency” (36)
This model might depend upon an enhanced writing center
This model may not be legal