A number of years ago, when we asked the question, "Do you assign homework in your principles class?" we would often get incredulous looks. While many instructors wanted to and believed that it would result in better student outcomes, there were just not enough resources to support grading homework, especially in large classes. Now, with the advent of homework solutions such as Aplia, etc., more than half of all instructors teaching principles regularly assign homework using a homework solution.
Now the incredulous looks come when we ask "Do you assign student writing in your economics class?" and for the same reason. Even though many schools are putting a greater emphasis on writing across the curriculum and employers are looking for candidates with writing skills, who has the time and resources to grade student writing?
Cengage Learning has recently teamed up with Vantage Learning to use the same technology that grades the GMAT analytical writing assessment to grade writing assignments in economics. We think that within the next few years writing assessment systems will be used right along with homework solutions in a large percentage of courses.
What about your course? Do you assign writing? Would you if there were a reliable grading system for student writing?
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