Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Reflections on the Facebook Exchange

Image by Max-B
Students selected a paragraph from their research papers to share on Facebook. Students were then given a worksheet that guided them through the peer review and evaluation procedures. Students posted their comments on Facebook and their own paragraphs for evaluation. The goal of the activity was for students to learn how to evaluate written work constructively and objectively. This activity also promoted a greater degree of accountability, since students from both classes were engaged in the process of producing and evaluating a written sample. The concomitant reciprocity ensured a level of "constructive decorum." I evaluated the students engagement in the activity according to the responses produced both on the worksheet and those posted on Facebook. Students later reflected on their experience(s) exchanging feedback on Facebook and its effectiveness. My only concern was that not everybody was able to participate in the exercise on the day of the exchange and as a result several students had to be re-assigned to others "on the fly." However, overall, I think the exercise went very well. Next time, I might choose a different platform (a blog, for instance, or Google docs) that might be able to facilitate the process of posting a comment better. I would also like to devise strategies that would encourage feedback for multiple individuals (i.e., so all of the participants have something to do even if their assigned peer hasn't posted a paragraph). I found it interesting that Nikki's activity had similar procedures (e.g., rubric for peer review/critique), yet the goal of her activity was to encourage "real world" feedback for the development of an app. Both of our activities explored the changes to/influences on peer critique as a result of different kinds of audiences (or "authentic audiences") -- beyond the conventional classroom.

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