Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We Did It

Image provided by Bieds
I started viewing some of the comments left by Professor Fernandez's students on my students' workspaces on ePortfolio. Some were very, very good. They were insightful, they followed the rubric criteria, and gave great suggestions that I know my students can use when composing the final drafts of their site summaries. These comments not only help the students in the editing and revision processes of their first drafts, but it also saves me lots of time by stating things that I would normally point out to students. The comments that were thoughtful and useful have given me great hope that the next time I implement a community based activity of this nature, the results will be even better!

I was very thankful that no one left harsh or disrespectful comments, and that most of Hector's students used the rubric, at least to some degree, when composing their comments for my students.
Now, there were a few students who left comments that were not as helpful...and, well, that was sort of a let-down. I know it is to be expected, but since students were grouped by sites, some of my student groups ended up with feedback from people who did not put much thought into their comments, or did not understand the requirements of the activity. They got absolutely no good feedback from their peers, and I cringe to think about what their reactions to this will be when we meet tonight in class. I will have to take on the work of providing all feedback to these students in order to help them revise their first drafts appropriately.

Image provided byorionpozo
Even with that in mind, I am still looking forward to a discussion with my students about the process of putting work "out there" for an "invisible audience" to not only view but to evaluate.  In many ways, this is a great practical exercise in writing to a particular audience and receiving somewhat anonymous feedback (although student names are listed in the comments, my students have no idea who these people are). This is actually what will happen on a much larger scale when our app is launched to the public. Unknown users will evaluate the app and its content and rate the app, as well as leave comments, which may or may not be helpful to all of us in our updating and maintaining the app in the future (and unlike the controlled environment in which they created this app, when it is launched to the public, some of the comments may be downright offensive).

Things that I would change for next time would be to allow for much more time for students to engage in the shared activities. Though Hector and I are planning a low-stakes activity where my students can evaluate his students' work, there just wasn't enough time to do it as of yet, and I feel that it may seem rushed and almost like an "aside" instead of the important element of this project that it is.

small group work
Image provided by Susan NYC

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