English: Student Interpretation and Application of Peer Writing Comments

Title: Student Interpretation and Application of Peer Writing Comments
Discipline/Field: English, Composition
Authors
: Ryan Friesen, Jennifer Mohlenhoff-Baggett, and Bruce Handtke; Department of English, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Submission Date: June 19, 2013

Abstract: In order to understand how student writers perceive peer and instructor comments and what value or usefulness they assign to them, we observed students reading, understanding, and applying given comments to the revision of a text. Through observation we collected evidence of how students understand peer comments, how they translate them into a process, and how they use the comments to evaluate their revisions. To make student learning visible, we observed how peers offered revision comments on a paper written by a member of their group. For many of us, the habits and methods undertaken by student writers when they have peer and instructor comments in front of them are a mystery. We wonder how student writers read peer comments, what they recognize within them, and how they apply their reading of these comments to the revisions they make within the paper. We wish to understand what has happened when writers do not recognize meaningful content in peer comments or do not apply them to revision, and we wish we knew how this form of communication could be improved. In our lesson study, we observed students interpreting peer comments and making decisions about their applications. As a result, we have developed strategies for refining the peer critique process to the benefit of writers, readers, instructors, and the texts that students produce.

English Lesson Study: Student Interpretation and Application of Peer Writing Comments (Full Report)

English: Revision and Peer Review

Title: How many peer reviewers does it take to revise a thesis?
Discipline(s) or Field(s):
English
Authors: Terry Beck, Susan Crutchfield, Bryan Kopp, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Submission Date:
April 2, 2004

Our goals:

  • Help students revise their essays—particularly their thesis statements—through critical thinking and rhetorical understanding
  • Encourage critical conversations between students as writers/readers
  • Foster an awareness that writing involves the discovery and development of ideas, involving learning for writers/readers

The “Lesson”

  • “Workshop groups”—a small group of students meets with the instructor to discuss the work in progress
  • Workshop focus is finding and discussing main idea of the draft.
  • Given the recursiveness of writing and individual differences among students, it is challenging to design a lesson about a discrete writing issue.
  • Qualitative research (no lab coats)

Preliminary Findings

  • The students with the highest abilities seemed to benefit most from the process.
  • “Average” students were not engaging in critical conversations and revising their papers to the extent we had hoped.
  • Students were struggling with the subject matter itself as well as how to write about it.