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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Re-Assessing Composition at Open Access Institutions: Using a Threshold Framework to Reshape Practice

  • Author(s): Blankenship, Chris;
  • Canavan, Anne;
  • Jory, Justin;
  • Lewis, Kati;
  • Stanford, Marlena;
  • Stephenson, Brittany
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-ND' version 4.0 license
Abstract

Recent developments in the scholarship of threshold concepts in writing studies can provide a durable and flexible conceptual framework that is responsive to neoliberal completion, job-readiness mandates within guided pathways and similar initiatives. A curriculum designed with a reflection-driven threshold concept framework is pedagogically and politically valuable to composition because of its ability to exist at the interstices theory and practice, addressing conditions surrounding composition at two-year colleges. This reflective aspect of the threshold concept framework is readily aligned with the positive element of guided pathways that emphasizes curricular cohesion through an emphasis on students' metacognitive development. Additionally, our model allows us to operate in the context of best practices in outcomes-based assessments, providing data on student writing and reflective practices, valued by a wide variety of stakeholders at our institution while maintaining a sustainable ecology of assessment that takes into account the material realities of two-year college labor.

Keywords: Composition; Community college; Threshold concepts; Metacognition; Labor

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