Assessing children's writing products: the role of curriculum based measures

J.E. Dockrell, V. Connelly, K. Walter, Sarah Critten

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    The assessment of children's writing raises technical and practical challenges. In this paper we examine the potential use of a curriculum based measure for writing (CBM-W) to assess the written texts of pupils in Key Stage 2 (M age 107 months, range 88 to 125). Two hundred and thirty six Year three, five and six pupils completed a standardized assessment of writing quality. Pupils also responded to two writing probes, one expository and one narrative, at baseline and five months later. In response to the probe pupils wrote for five minutes. Transcribed texts were scored for productivity (total words produced, correct word sequences, number of punctuation marks and sentences produced) and accuracy (proportion of words spelled correctly, correct word sequences and punctuation marks). The CBM –W measures were differentially sensitive to development and showed construct validity as evidenced by their association with the norm- referenced test measuring writing quality. Change over time was also evident and significant differences between narrative and expository texts were found. Pupils with special educational needs scored significantly more poorly on the CBM-W. Potential implications for research and practice are considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)575-595
    JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
    Issue number4
    Early online date3 Dec 2014
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Dockrell, J.E. , Connelly, V. , Walter, K. and Critten, S. (2014) Assessing children's writing products: the role of curriculum based measures. British Educational Research Journal, volume 41 (4): 575-595, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


    • writing
    • education
    • children
    • assessment


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