Cross-posted from the Digital Union blog.
A few weeks ago I facilitated a workshop on teaching with portfolios for Learning Technology. As much as we talk about the technology supporting e-portfolios, it’s good to step back and take stock of the pedagogical approaches behind them.
How can I help students take better advantage of peer assessment?
Many instructors are familiar with peer assessment--and the frustration with students who don’t offer substantive feedback during the process or even grasp requisite writing standards. To maximize the benefits from peer assessment, take a few minutes to teach students how to offer constructive feedback to each other. It can be a great way for students to reflect on and develop their writing, discuss course content and form a classroom learning community. It can produce multiple points of critique and lighten your assessment workload--all this for a relatively small investment of time.
How can I get students to comment on each other's work more effectively?
Peer response can be a very effective way of getting students to engage in each others' writing and to be more reflective about their own writing. However, it can sometimes be difficult to get students to move beyond generic comments like "It flows" and "I like it." In order to make your students' peer responding as effective as it can be, consider the following strategies:
Those who were unable to attend this workshop missed out on an exciting, informative discussion of the possibilities wikis offer for teaching and learning through writing. But have no fear!
Alexis Stern, a tutor in the Writing Center, and I recently made a presentation to Muge Galin's English 110H classes on using wikis as a collaborative writing tool.
This post is coming a few weeks after the workshop, but I hope that it will offer a way into thinking about revising course syllabi and writing assignments over the summer.