Interdisciplinary Writing Assessment Profiles

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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


Relying upon current interdisciplinary theories, this article offers a newly created method for assessing interdisciplinary thinking, the Interdisciplinary Writing Assessment Profiles. The Profiles is a scoring rubric for the assessment of substantive undergraduate, expository, research-based interdisciplinary writing assignments, such as a senior thesis or major term paper. In this instrument, four dimensions of interdisciplinary writing are assessed: (1) drawing on disciplinary sources, (2) critical argumentation, (3) multidisciplinary perspectives, and (4) interdisciplinary integration. The first two dimensions focus primarily on elements that should occur in disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary expository writing. The final two dimensions are more pointedly focused on interdisciplinary writing. The instrument was developed and field-tested with disciplinary senior theses from the University Honors Program and interdisciplinary senior projects from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Miami University in Ohio. The article discusses the reliability and validity of the scoring procedures, offers some findings about how disciplinary and interdisciplinary projects compared in terms of the scoring, and provides concrete guidance on how to make specific scoring decisions.




Wolfe, Christopher R., and Carolyn Haynes. "Interdisciplinary writing assessment profiles." Issues in Integrative Studies 21 (2003): 126-169.