Title: Student Interpretation and Application of Instructor Writing Comments
Authors: Ryan Friesen, Jennifer Mohlenhoff-Baggett, and Bruce Handtke, English Department, University of Wisconsin La-Crosse
Submission Date: June 16, 2014
Abstract: In 2012-2013, we undertook a lesson study to understand how student writers perceive peer comments and what value or usefulness they assign to them. In 2013-2014, we completed the second park of our planned study, during which we performed a similar observation of how students attempt to read, understand, and apply instructor comments.
We collected evidence of how students understand instructor comments, how they translate them into a process, and how they use the comments to evaluate their revisions. In order to make student learning visible, we observed how students read comments that we as instructors have written in the margins and at the end of a typical paper assignment, and we asked them to paraphrase our comments, to assign them a value for priority in the revision process, and to describe how they would go about revising based on the instructor critique. We evaluated how accurately the students described the revision we had suggested, assessed how self-aware the writers were regarding the need for revision in their writing, and attempted to determine how able and willing they were to apply instructor critique to future writing scenarios.