Monday, October 24, 2011

ENG099 Cross-Evaluation and Online Discussion

Quote of the Day
"Il n’est pas nécessaire qu’un auteur comprenne ce qu’il écrit. Les critiques se chargeront de le lui expliquer." --Abbé Prévost

**Thanks to Anaitoron's Blog for the quote and the cartoon (which is from**

The new activity for the week was a cross-evaluation of a CATW style essay. Dr. X and and my students wrote a CATW essay by hand under testing conditions. (Bloom: Synthesis/Creation level).

Dr. X and I then evaluated the essays using the CATW rubric and indicated for the students the areas where they needed the most work. The students then revised the essays for their blogs with the understanding that they would have an outside peer reader or two commenting on the entry. Ximena designed a formula for the response based on our work on claims, reasons, and evidence which you can see HERE.  (Bloom: Analysis and Evaluation levels).

How Did it Go?
Many students stuck to the formula, but some really did use it to make valuable commentary. You can see the cross-evaluations by going to my course blogs and Dr. X's course blogs. The responses to Maiko's essay HERE were pretty typical. The most interesting thing from my end was that we get to immediately see where the evaluators are confused. We are working on evaluating the effectiveness of this exercise now, though a straw-poll of my students using the Blogger "survey" widget showed that most students found the activity "very useful" or "useful."

Online Discussion
We also had our second online discussion, this time over The Matrix.This time we matched two of our classes together so there were approximately 50 students per group in each discussion. One is completed HERE and one goes live today HERE if anyone would like to check them out. You will need to "join group" on the right if you would like to participate. Right now, our students are just getting the hang of online discussions, though they do recognize the similarity to texting. For Basic Writers, I think written discussion is useful for them to practice with writing, especially since we ask them to post with "Claim", "Reasons," and "Evidence" clearly labeled.


  1. This is an awesome link! Truly enjoyed reading the comments and allows me to see/digest students take on the Matrix live discussion!

  2. Sounds like a great project. How do you embed the links into your blog writing ("HERE")?

  3. When you are writing your post, there is a little link button at the top of the compose screen. You can cut-and-paste the link into the pop-up window and then change the title to HERE. I train my students to always look for "HERE" for links. They catch on pretty quickly.