Developing a Coherent System for the Assessment of Writing Abilities: Tasks and Tools


  • Ana Patricia Muñoz Universidad EAFIT
  • Jonathan Mueller North Central College, Illinois
  • Martha E. Álvarez Universidad EAFIT
  • Sandra Gaviria Universidad EAFIT



writing standards, construct validity, writing prompts, inter-rater reliability, rubrics


This article discusses the design and validation of a writing assessment system. Two main processes are addressed: validation of the construct and the writing test prompts, and design and validation of scoring instruments. Construct validation included defining and aligning the construct, the standards, and the nature of the assessment tasks. The validation of tasks was determined by analyzing task content against a set of criteria to design appropriate writing tasks and by surveying students' understanding of the prompts. Finally, scoring rubrics were designed based on the standards and the construct. To validate the rubrics, their alignment with the construct and the standards was established, as well as the estimation of their inter-rater reliability (r = > 0,7).

Received: 09-03-06 / Accepted: 19-07-06

How to reference this article:

Muñoz, A. P.; Mueller, J.;  Álvarez, M. E. & Gaviria, S. (2006). Developing a Coherent System for the Assessment of Writing Abilities: Tasks and Tools. Íkala. 11(1), pp. 265 – 307 

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Author Biographies

Ana Patricia Muñoz, Universidad EAFIT

Ana Muñoz is the Research and Teacher Education Coordinator at the Language Center, EAFIT University. She holds an M.A. in TESOL from Eastern Michigan University, USA and has a B.A. in Languages - English and French from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia.

Jonathan Mueller, North Central College, Illinois

Jonathan Mueller is a professor of psychology at North Central College, Illinois. He holds a Ph.D in Personality and Social Psychology from Northern Illinois University. For more than ten years he has consulted with teachers, schools and districts, at the K-12 and post-secondary levels, on the development, evaluation and revision of assessments, goals and standards.

Martha E. Álvarez, Universidad EAFIT

Martha E. Alvarez is an Industrial Engineer from Universidad Nacional, Medellín. She holds a postgraduate degree in Information Systems from Universidad EAFIT and has been a teacher at the School of Engineering in this institution since 1992. She has also taught and coordinated the Statistics I and II programs.

Sandra Gaviria, Universidad EAFIT

Sandra Gaviria is the Coordinator of the Adult English Program and researcher at the Language Center, EAFIT University. She holds an M.A. in TESOL from West Virginia University, USA and has a B.A. in Modern Languages from Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia.


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How to Cite

Muñoz, A. P., Mueller, J., Álvarez, M. E., & Gaviria, S. (2006). Developing a Coherent System for the Assessment of Writing Abilities: Tasks and Tools. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 11(1), 265–307.