Written essays are a common feature of classroom and high stakes standardized tests at many age levels. However, little is known about how small alterations in the writing task affect students’ writing, an issue made more important by the increasing use of task alterations for students with disabilities. In the present study, 140 college students completed a standardized assessment of writing ability under one of two timing conditions (10 minutes, 15 minutes) and with one of two response formats (handwritten, word-processed). Students who used a word processor wrote significantly more than did students who handwrote their essays. However, the extended time allotment only increased students’ amount of writing in the word processor condition. Only small differences between the groups’ essays were found in spelling, grammar, and related characteristics. Implications of these results for future research and writing assessment policies are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language