Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Bennett A. Rafoth, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Dana Lynn Driscoll, Ph.D.


This study examines the student writer perspective of a first-year composition program’s student learning outcomes. Student descriptions of learning are a valuable, yet often overlooked data source. The student voice broadens a first-year composition program’s outcomes-based, student learning assessment process as program assessment data is often derived from the faculty perspective through analysis of student writing artifacts. This research project used learning outcome interviews based in a narrative inquiry methodology to seek and explore the experiences of student writers after completing the first-year composition program. The conceptual framework for this study is based on John Dewey’s pragmatic philosophy and need for a balanced approach to education, Brian Huot’s view of assessment-as-research, and Linda Adler-Kassner and Susanmaire Harrington’s call for a reframing of assessment accountability. The narratives from the learning outcome interviews were used to develop a student learning narrative assessment model based on three identified themes: narratives of interpersonal interaction, narratives situated in time, and narratives of holistic learning. This model can illuminate these three valuable themes present in the student perspective of assessment to provide direction for renewal, further study, and growth of a writing program.