School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kathie C. Morgan

Primary Subject Area

Education, Higher; Education, Tests and Measurements


CLAQWA, cognitive skills, descriptive writing, freshman composition, prescriptive writing, writing skills


The study investigated the effects of the Cognitive Level and Quality Writing Assessment (CLAQWA) rubric on the cognitive skill and writing skill growth of college freshmen. The participants (n = 107) were enrolled in a composition course at a Midwestern state university. The nonequivalent control group design used quantitative analysis with selected criteria from the CLAQWA rubric as measurements. Two independent raters graded the essays, and results confirmed a statistically significant correlation of grades on both sets of essays. Results from both raters confirmed no statistically significant differences on either type of skill score between the experimental or control group for the final essay. Results suggest that although a specific rubric enhances the learning environment, a specific rubric does not define the learning environment. Results also demonstrated a statistically significant difference between the female and male groups for the diagnostic essays graded by rater one; however, there was no statistically significant difference between male and female groups on the final essay as graded by rater two. Results indicated that the measurement of student outcomes, mandated by recent legislative efforts, may be accomplished through the use of a rubric, but at the same time, a specific rubric may not be a universal answer.