Carl Whithaus studies the impact of IT on literacy, writing assessment, and writing in the disciplines/the professions. He has published two books: Writing Across Distances and Disciplines: Research and Pedagogy in Distributed Learning (Erlbaum/Routledge, 2008) and Teaching and Evaluating Writing in the Age of Computers and High-Stakes Testing (Erlbaum, 2005). Some of his recent articles and essays include: “Blogs, Collaboration and Assessment” (2006), “Contact and Interactivity: Social Constructionist Pedagogy in a Video-based, Management Writing Course” (2006), and “Always Already: Automatic Essay Scoring (AES) and Grammar Checkers in College Writing Courses” (2006).
Carl wrote his dissertation at the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center. The project was a response to changes in CUNY writing assessment policies, and it examined how students’ literacy and learning processes did, and did not, correspond with their scores on CUNY’s Writing Assessment Test (WAT). Carl was fascinated by the sophisticated work he saw students producing in class (often on computers or written for the web) juxtaposed with their difficulties on standardized writing exams. The dissertation won the Hugh Burns Dissertation Award for the best dissertation in Computers and Composition Studies from Computers and Composition. Carl has continued his work on writing assessment and IT by serving on National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Planning Committee for 2011-2019 Writing Standards Framework, the editorial board for Kairos, and the National Council of Teachers of English, Best Practices for Online Writing Instruction (OWI) Committee. He is co-chair of NWP's Multimodal Assessment Project.
His current research includes a focus on how secondary and postsecondary writing curricula prepare students for the types of writing and multimodal composing activities they encounter in their professional lives.