Monday, May 27, 2013

Update, May 27

I'm quite pleased with the results of last week's Facebook feedback exchange with Thomas' composition students. Many of my students' posted paragraphs were noticeably more substantial and polished compared to previous efforts; they just seemed to care more and work harder. This suggests that peer pressure is a more powerful motivator than grades. (Then again, the generally higher level of writing probably also reflects gradual improvement over the course of the semester, irregardless of the connecting activity.)  On the other hand, students have been generally less successful when giving feedback, especially the "weaker" ones. Many comments are vague and underdeveloped (with more emphasis on technical details (ex: citation style, spelling) than on organization or depth of support. To be fair, we haven't done much peer review up to this point, so they were unfamiliar with generating such discourse. Next time, I plan to start doing peer review early in the semester to get them more comfortable. I might also have students start connecting with their counterparts earlier, so they can begin to overcome their natural tentativeness. Moreover, while I like Facebook for its ease of entry and use, I'm not satisfied with its limitations vis-a-vis highlighting specific passages and inserting comments. Google Drive/Docs is much better in this regard, so I'm going to give that platform a closer look. Overall, this has been an eye-opening (and even enjoyable) experience -- I plan to incorporate some version of this activity into my writing pedagogy moving forward.


  1. Even thought I have not yet can say if my exercise is successful or not, I am also thinking of implementing it earlier next term. Again, the shift of audience for the students seems to be a key element of motivation.

  2. Glad to know the experience was overall satisfactory! :-)