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Improving Your Feedback for Student Growth Matt Sharkey-Smith, MFA Writing Instructor and Coordinator of Graduate Writing Initiatives Walden University.

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Your Feedback for Student Growth Matt Sharkey-Smith, MFA Writing Instructor and Coordinator of Graduate Writing Initiatives Walden University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Your Feedback for Student Growth Matt Sharkey-Smith, MFA Writing Instructor and Coordinator of Graduate Writing Initiatives Walden University Writing Center Hillary Wentworth, MFA Writing Instructor and Coordinator of Undergraduate Writing Initiatives Walden University Writing Center

2 Welcome to Todays Webinar! Click the arrow to view panel. Adjust audio setup as needed. Ask questions throughout the webinar. Technical Support: 800-263-6317 Closed Captioning is available through the link in the Questions area. Faculty members who are licensed educators can receive a certificate of participation, which may be equivalent to 1 hour of continuing education, for this session. Licensed educators should check their state licensure requirements to determine whether their participation in this session will meet continuing education requirements. Further directions will be provided via an email after the session.

3 Agenda Crash course in writing pedagogy Best practices for writing feedback – Strategies you can use alongside your existing methods of grading and commenting Alternative feedback Practice, practice, practice

4 Quality Over Quantity How tutors/instructors respond matters. Cognitive load theory – Students can only retain so much in working memory – Writing and revising involve high cognitive demand

5 Quality Over Quantity Students react better to a few comments on major writing issues than to many comments on smaller issues (Hewett, 2010). Focusing your writing feedback – saves you time – avoids overwhelming the student

6 Prioritize Your Writing Feedback Hierarchy of Concerns Favor global issues (e.g., logic, structure) For persistent local issues (e.g., grammar, APA style), identify the issue and link to more information Argument development OrganizationVoice and styleMechanics

7 Model Effective Writing When commenting on an issue, model a possible revision in your comments.

8 Encourage Dialogue Create a framework for discussion. A call-and-response table –guides students to ask specific, manageable questions. –reduces revision to two or three concrete tasks. –simplifies the process of asking and answering.

9 Call-and-Response Table My Comments to You Questions or Comments for Me? Please Write Them Here What Youre Doing Well Effective overall structure for the paper, with an introduction to the topic. Use of transitions to guide the reader from sentence to sentence. What You Could Work On Write topic sentences to focus your paragraphs. Continue to work on expressing ideas in complete sentences and maintaining the appropriate verb tense. Where to Go for More Information For a helpful tutorial on sentence structure, go to and click on Everything You Wanted to Know About English But Were Afraid to Ask (on the right side of the web page).

10 The Importance of Specificity Students need prompt, detailed, and anchored writing feedback (Zepke & Leach, 2010) to – know what you are suggesting and why. – implement changes more effectively. Students appreciate that you are actually reading and engaging with their material.

11 Consider the Difference More detail needed.The concept of ethics is an important one, so I suggest you develop it by providing more information. Nice job!Youve introduced the topic well by providing background research on the AIDS crisis. ?Hmm…what exactly do you mean by the evolution of humanity?

12 The Importance of Tone Writing is personal. Online, asynchronous communication – eliminates eye contact and gesture. – exacerbates slips in tone.

13 The Importance of Tone Students become frustrated or fixated on the negative. – Comments like makes no sense not only made [students] feel unmotivated to revise but also diminished their capacity to think (Treglia, 2008, p. 105).

14 Consider the Difference Youre really struggling here.You seem to be having difficulty. Awk.This combination of words is hard for me to understand. I know weve discussed this problem before, so why do you keep doing this? Do you have any questions about APA citation? I want to make sure you understand my previous comments.

15 Tweaking Tone Do you even know what a paragraph is? This is way too long. Try breaking up this long paragraph into two or three shorter paragraphs to allow me to follow your ideas.

16 A Tone Check Sometimes it pays to scan through your comments before posting. You can revise anything youve typed in the heat of the moment.

17 The Tone Game {Please complete the worksheet.}

18 Tired of Typing?: Jing Free program for audiovisual feedback: – Record your screen up to 5 minutes as you comment on a paper. – Send the video link to the student. Consider: Jing also offers screenshot annotation.

19 Tired of Typing?: Jing Jing allows you to – prioritize due to limited time – model in motion – specify by pointing – maintain measured verbal tone

20 Tired of Typing?: Audio Replace text with audio comments in MS Word. Spoken comments can help you maintain a rapport with the student and potentially spend less time.

21 Try These Strategies

22 Practice, Practice, Practice Review the sample paper, commenting specifically on writing rather than content. Keep in mind the issues weve discussed prioritization, modeling, specificity, and toneand consider ways you can incorporate them into your feedback.

23 Discussion and Q & A Follow up with us via email: Graduate specialty Undergraduate specialty

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