Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 5: Interaction follow up across sections

More of a straightforward narrative this time: Last week I posted here about my ENG 099 students and their interactions with ENG 99 students from other classes. This past week I followed up with this activity in two ways: first, I asked my ENG 101 students to comment on the summaries of my own ENG 99 students. This way they would be able to be on the receiving end of commentary. As expected, some of them got the same unhelpful short feedback that they themselves had given other students. So then in the lab I asked some of these students to share the problems as they saw them. They mentioned

  • posting a series of yes/no answers without posting the questions answered is utterly confusing
  • a context is needed when posting to someone in another class
  • feedback must be specific and not simply state "fix the grammar" or "you are missing key ideas"
  • it is more helpful when what a student has done right is also included
As a class we agreed that they should let their ENG 101 peers about these good practices by posting on their blogs and asking them if they can take a second look at their summaries and give feedback following these suggestions. I then projected on the screen feedback they themselves had given, on this exact same activity, to students in ENG 99 classes taught by Drs. Gallardo and Smith--I had chosen feedback which demonstrated all the same problems, and had simply copied/pasted them in a word document without the names (of course the blogs are public, so it is hardly a secret, but it spares them the public spectacle aspect of the embarrassment). I then asked them if several of them thought they needed to go back and redo their feedback given--which they in fact did without my even telling them they must do for a grade etc. Some (who had actually given good feedback the first time) kept asking me if they need to redo them, but I told them applying their judgment was part of the exercise and an important skill that will help them not only in passing the CATW but in college in general. 


  1. Sounds like a good exercise/interaction with a different class. I still need to do that!

  2. Thanks Maria. I have done these kinds of interactions before, but this was the first time where for a single activity I included the same set of students in an interaction with both a same level class (another ENG 99) and a higher level class (ENG 101). My students were really confused at times, but overall I think it worked.

  3. I like what you did as a follow-up. It's a good sign that students jumped in and started using their newly-found awareness to rethink their commenting.