Presentation on theme: "Commenting for Improvement on Student Writing: Are We Speaking the Same Language? Prepared by Roxanne Munch, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, Joliet."— Presentation transcript:
Commenting for Improvement on Student Writing: Are We Speaking the Same Language? Prepared by Roxanne Munch, Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences, Joliet Junior College 21 February 2014
Todays Plan 1.1:15-1:20Notecard questions 2.1:20-1:30Share and capture responses 3.1:30-1:40Presentation Slides 4.1:40-1:50Video: Beyond the Red Ink 5.1:50-1:55Final Q & A
Notecard Questions 1.What is your personal best practice in assessing student writing? 2.Were you formally trained to assess student writing? 3.Do you assess writing electronically?
Responses to Question #1 (captured during session) Rubricsmakes it transparent. Rubric developed for research papers. Holistically looking at content/logic/structure, grammar & mechanics, effort and ability level, and disabilities (if applicable). Comment extensively. Creating and making use of an (ever-growing) document containing pieces of specific praise and criticism, then pasting these into student written work along with links (e.g., to Purdue OWL) to help address specific concern. Specific information about how to make the sentence/paragraph/paper stronger. Avoid rubricswrite a letter to the student explaining how to improve and what is great.
Responses to Question #1 (captured during session) Actually reading the entire paper and adding pertinent comments when needed throughout. When I have time to personalize comments in a way that allows students to be more curious about some concept and allows them to understand that what they have to say is okayit might just be able to be better. Using rubrics to assess student writing so that all writing samples are assessed for the same content. Commenting extensively on student drafts. Rubricsmakes it clear to both faculty/student. Read them completely before making notations. Rubrics clearly defining expectations; indicating problems in writing but not correcting them for studentsallow students to correct errors after some explanation from me.
Responses to Question #1 (captured during session) Developmental readingstrictly judge by whether or not they completely and accurately give information based on the assignment. Write lettershelps to avoid only marking errors that may not exist after numerous revisionspoint out what is great and why; what needs improvement and options. I actually do read all of the papers; some faculty just skim. Focus on what the student can do to make the sentence/paragraph/paper stronger. Im specific and individualized in my feedback, but it is quite time consuming. Using rubrics that were collaboratively developed.
Responses to Question #1 (captured during session) Transparent and ongoing processes. Students are aware of rubric, expectations, etc. They are asked to code drafts according to the rubric and I provide feedback to the students on the rubric. Students write as a process; they turn in multiple drafts. I developed a rubric for MLA research papers that helps me give focused feedback to students. Carefully written rubricsprovided to students ahead of time. I try to learn my students backgrounds, interests for the future, and expectations of themselves. Then I translate that into how I evaluate their performance on essay writing (usually narrative). I tend to review papers for how they integrate outside sources well either by summary, quotes, paraphrase the best. I like to give extra chances at integration. Im a librarian which is why this is my focus. I refer students to the writing center if they cannot decipher the essence of what they are trying to communicate. (I am not an English teacher.)
Responses to Question #1JJC English Faculty I provide a long and very precise description of each essays strengths and weaknesses at the end…I really am quite pleased with the practical and clear manner in which I describe each papers successes and opportunities for improvement (Jim Baskin). My best practice: show dont tell.... Since I work with developmental students I am constantly developing their sense of language – especially how it sounds whether spoken or written (Theresa Carrillo).
Responses to Question #1JJC English Faculty I explain the problem the first time I see it, mark it the next two times, and the last time that I identify the problem, I tell the student that this is a repeated or major concern (Mari Johnson). My best practice is having a clear rubric that shows students how their papers are assessed and graded (Kristin LaTour). I always say something positive before critiquing a student's work. I always try to be specific in my comments (Bill Yarrow).
Why do we comment? A professors purpose in providing feedback to students about a particular piece of writing should be to give them insight for revising that piece of writing.... Although professors may agree with the premise that feedback should give students help in revising their writing, professors understanding of what constitutes useful feedback may in fact run counter to the purpose of providing useful feedback (Speck).
Common Misperceptions about Feedback Feedback identifies errors. Doesnt help improve substance Tells students that avoiding errors is what really matters. Feedback justifies the grade. Doesnt help with revising Puts emphasis on grade rather than improvement Feedback for one assignment can be transferred to another assignment. Different expectations may apply to different assignments Transfer is not proven
What doesnt work ProblemExamples Cryptic responsesawkward good or bad revise wrong Negative responsesThis is a stupid thing to say. Youre poor writing ability suggests that you shouldnt be in college. Too much responseWriting more than the studentoverwhelming commentary.
What works Helpful FeedbackIllustrations Create a dialogue.Use marginal comments to raise questions. Expand the discussion. Ask for definitions. Use journalists questions with explanations. Point out successes.Offer praise plus the reason for the success. Refrain from unprofessional comments. Dont vent frustrations, use offensive language, or respond rudely. Summarize.Use end notes to help define priorities. Give students options.Offer choices for revising strategies. Write comments that model good writing. Check our own grammar, word usage, and tone!
What about grammar? Focus on global issues first. Editing is the last step in the writing process. Knowing high-frequency errors may help pinpoint errors to address in class or elsewhere. Help students set priorities for reviewidentify one or two repeated errors. Use standard terminology and abbreviations for notations. Indicate handbook or online resources for targeted items.
Video: Beyond the Red Ink
What are students telling us? Teachers should say to their students, here is why and how I comment. Welcome to class.? Help students to think for themselves. Less is more!! Professors, Inspire us with your comments. Let your passion shine through. Give something positive before taking something away. The sweet before the sour. I would suggest to suggest, not demand. Write comments that begin conversations, not end them. Encourage us. Show us how to become better writers.
Sources Attendees at the sessionslides 4-7. JJC English Faculty: Jim Baskin, Teresa Carrillo, Mari Johnson, Kristin LaTour, and Bill Yarrow Speck, Bruce W., et al. Grading Students Classroom Writing: Issues and Strategies. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report, Volume 27, Number 3, n.p.: 2000, ERIC. Web. 20 Feb Sommers, Nancy. Beyond the Red Ink: Students Talk about Teachers Comments. DVD/Video. Bedford/St. Martins, 2012.
Contact Information Roxanne F. Munch Interim Dean of Arts and Sciences Joliet Junior College