Bloom's Taxonomy: Application, Analysis, Evaluation
Before my 220 students turned to Professor Smith's ENG 099s last week, they kept on with the ENG 101 students. To switch things up a bit, I had them give feedback to my ENG 101 Ethics of Food class. The Ethics of Food students had a tough assignment, and it was interesting to walk the 220s through the world of my 101 food ethics.
The issues that came up were not the same as the first couple times. First time around, they were nervous. At this point, it became a matter of encouraging and directing them to make specific comments.
How Did It Go
The blog comments are good for the 220s because they build confidence for tutoring, and they're good for the 101s because they get to receive extended comments on low-stakes work. This saves me a lot of time, too, because the best I can do during the week is incorporate what the 101 students are writing about into discussion, not give them extended comments on blogs. The 220s can provide attention to specific skills.
The skills the 220 try to promote are, relative to Tutoring Writing and pedagogy, familiar: evaluate how the blog did or didn't fulfill on the assignment, evaluate the structure and ideas of the blog, and provide some specific suggestions for making the blog readable to an outside audience.
Note: Since I repeated this assignment between 220 and 101 AND 101, you might notice in example three how both students are able to respond from slightly different perspectives.
I've grown satisfied that the kind of work students do with peer evaluation can be effective, comprehensive, and helpful. The 220 students, for whatever reason, take on a real sense of connection to the 101s. I can tell these students want to be teachers (they're all education majors). They feel a sense of responsibility to the blogs and to the students that wrote them. The blog comments allows them a vehicle to channel this.
The 101 students can also demonstrate a newfound confidence through their blog comment assignment. You can see this from the third example above. They enjoy having the chance to comment upon the skills they're learning in their own class. They're able to see how the same skills can be evaluated in other student writing, even when that writing is about different content. I actually think that's how the skills can become more identifiable - the students need to see them separated from the content they're more familiar with.
For both classes, there is a sense of connection and intimacy that occurs through this process that might encourage them to think more broadly about their status as LaGuardia students.