Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2015

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Teaching and Learning

First Advisor

Hosp, John

Second Advisor

Woods-Groves, Suzanne

First Committee Member

Hua, Youjia

Second Committee Member

Bruhn, Allison

Third Committee Member

Welch, Catherine


Curriculum-Based Measures in writing (CBM-W) assesses a variety of fluency-based components of writing. While support exists for the use of CBM measures in the area of writing, there is a need to conduct further validation studies to investigate the utility of these measures within elementary and secondary classrooms. Since only countable indices are used in CBM-W, this study explored the possibility of using an assessment that measured writing quality in conjunction with the CBM metric. To accomplish this, three pieces of data were used in this study. The CBM metrics of total words written, words spelled correctly, correct word sequences, percentage of words spelled correctly, and percentage of correct word sequences were scored from a timed writing passage that second grade students completed. Scores from the district writing assessment that classroom teachers rated using an analytic rubric that focused on quality were also analyzed. Last, a validated writing assessment, the TOWL-3, was used as the criterion measure. Using correlation and regression methods, results indicated that correct word sequences was the best predictor performance on the TOWL-3. Even though the teacher writing assessment correlated with the TOWL-3 at the significant level, adding it to the scores from the CBM-W measures did not significantly increase the validity.

Public Abstract

Writing is one of the most complex processes taught in our public schools. It requires individuals to use knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation, organization, and vocabulary, along with fine motor skills. A challenge that teachers have regarding writing is the assessment of students’ writing, as it is more subjective than reading or math. Some writing assessments have been thoroughly studied to determine use in schools. One of those assessments is the TOWL-3. The TOWL-3 is a standardized assessment that cannot be used multiple times, so it is necessary to find writing assessments that can be used multiple times throughout a school year to determine if students are making necessary progress. Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) is an assessment method that use timed tests to assess student’s fluency with the content. Even though the CBM reading assessments are commonly used in schools, the CBM measures for writing do not meet the necessary levels. In an attempt to find an assessment that would increase the appropriateness of CBM, this study added scores from a writing assessment used in a school district that analyze quality components of writing (organization, word choice, ideas, etc.). Second grade students completed both CBM and the district assessment, and the scores were compared to the TOWL-3. Through statistical analysis, it was found that the addition of the quality measure did not significantly increase the appropriateness of the CBM measures with students in second grade.


publicabstract, Assessment, Curriculum based measurement, Writing


ix, 103 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-101).


Copyright 2015 Paula Lea Ganzeveld