What is the ROAD?

The academic senate in the spring of 2011 approved the use of the ROAD (Repository of Assessment Documents) to assess students’ abilities to communicate in writing. Prior to graduation, students seeking a baccalaureate degree will be required to upload two samples of their writing. One document will be from an assignment given in the second English composition course (ENGL 1551). A second document will be a writing sample related to the student’s major. Departments or programs will determine the assignment that the student will upload.

The General Education Coordinator will report annually on each major’s rate of compliance with the policy to the Academic Senate. Both of the writing samples must have been written to complete a graded assignment for a course. The writing samples must be at least 750 words long and should be fewer than 4,000 words and should demonstrate the use of critical thinking. Any guidelines or assignment prompts related to the writing sample should be provided in an electronic format to the students so they can copy and paste those directions into the document being submitted (words in the guidelines or prompts do not count toward the length requirement). Students will be asked to remove any information from the writing sample that could be used to identify them or their instructor.


What needs to be submitted?

Only papers indicated in our current list, which can be found in this Google Spreadsheet, need to be submitted. The list was created so that each program would have a different entry. In some cases multiple programs have indicated the same course for uploading to the ROAD, and therefore these courses may be listed multiple times. So long as the assignments listed are the same, students in those courses need only make one submission to the ROAD. In general, uploads should take place in only one course per program.

Papers should be at least 750 and should be limited to 4,000 words, but students/instructors may choose a segment or chapter of a larger project for review.

Additional papers can be submitted for program assessment, but this is not required by Gen. Ed.


Who submits the papers?

Students will submit the papers.


Is there a special format students need to follow?

We would like students to paste the assignment’s prompt at the beginning of their submissions. This will help our reviewers with the evaluation process.

Students should use the following guidelines:

  1. Remove any information that would identify you or your instructor. Don’t forget to remove the header or footer if it contains identifying information.
  2. Insert the description of your assignment into the beginning of the document.
  3. Save your file as either a Microsoft Word document (a doc or docx file) or a PDF file. Include all of the following in a SINGLE file:
    • Instructor’s description of (or directions for) the assignment
    • Title Page (if needed, such as for APA style)
    • Abstract (if needed, such as for APA style)
    • Paper Body
    • Bibliography/References/Works Cited/Endnotes (as required per style guide)

A full copy of the upload instructions can also be found in the ROAD Upload Instructions for Upper Division Courses*


How can I check to see if my students have submitted their papers?

The ROAD system has some useful features to help faculty members identify and email students that have not submitted their papers. Instructions on how to use this features can be found in the ROAD Check Submission instructions document


Is the process anonymous?

Only aggregated scores based on the writing samples will be reported to the campus community; scores for individual students and the students of individual faculty will not be released. The General Education Committee shall not calculate scores aggregated by the students’ individual programs or departments. Programs have the option of using writing samples authored by their majors for program assessment.