Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Network'd

Everybody had a good year
Everybody let their hair down
Everybody pulled their socks up
Everybody put their foot down
Oh yeah
~The Beatles, "I've Got a Feeling"

It's all over now, baby blue. Wait. I can't--I shall not--mix artists here. My students received feedback from Michelle's class last week. They were, indeed, waiting with baited breath to hear what their peers would say about their essays. Let me add: the assignment for Michelle's students was not easy. They did have to put on their "Evaluation Caps" and assume (as Michelle noted in her post) a position of authority. They needed to bring the thunder. And I think they did. Looking at what Michelle's students wrote, I found most of the comments to be pretty spot-on. My students admitted that the comments were helpful. One student protested during class and announced that the comments she received were inappropriate. This turned out to be a joke. The comment was something like "This is good work." Which, actually, and ironically, was inappropriate--I think the student needed to do more and proofread for common (and careless) grammatical errors. Anywho. It's nice they had fun with it. 

My students are now revising their essays based on the comments and suggestions they received. Of course, Facebook bein' (The) Facebook, we had issues with some of the comments disappearing. (Oh, where do these tidbits wander?) This morning I went over the group and made sure that everybody had a comment. I believe I ended up writing 7 or 8 comments. In the future, I would tinker with this tool and see if there might be an easier way to organize documents.

And: After my students received their comments from Michelle's class (but BEFORE they revised the essay that Michelle's students commented on--if that makes sense) they wrote another Short Writing Assignment (one very much like what Michelle's students saw). I do believe that reading the peer evaluations BEFORE writing that short essay really helped to inspire their writing. I noticed serious improvement (better attention to form, grammar, analysis) in their work. Let's hope that continues to the researched essay.

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