Economics: Efficient and Effective Feedback – A Lesson Study Investigating Students’ Responses and Follow up to Feedback on Their Writing

Title: Efficient and Effective Feedback: A Lesson Study Investigating Students’ Responses and Follow-up to Feedback on Their Writing
Authors: Taggert Brooks, Elizabeth Knowles, James Murray, Laurie Strangman, Department of Economics; Bryan Kopp, English Department; University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
Discipline / Field: Business Communications, Research Methods
Submission Date: August 1, 2013

Abstract:  
We developed and implemented a systematic and efficient approach to give feedback on student writing in a business research methods course. In this lesson study, we investigate how students respond to this feedback. The lesson takes place at mid-semester, after students have spent some time developing their research question and reviewing the literature. At the time of our classroom observation, the students receive the first feedback of their first draft of the introduction section of their final paper. We observed their conversations upon receiving the feedback and noted how it influenced their revision plans. We conducted our lesson study over two semesters, Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.

To make the process of giving feedback efficient, we developed a database of comments on student writing which were specific to the objectives of the assignment. There are seven goals of the introduction assignment, some of which are specific to an introduction section of a research project, such as “State the purpose of your research project”, and some of which are very general, such as “Communicate in a clear and meaningful way.” Using these goals as the traits for a rubric, we developed a set of feedback comments that align to each goal suggesting improvements or noting when the objective was met. While the comments are specific enough to address specific goals of the
assignment and common writing problems, they were general enough so that they could be used for any student’s writing for the given assignment. We use text expanding software (Breevy for Windows, TextExpander for Mac) that allows the instructor to quickly populate a letter to each student with a set of comments appropriate for their submission.

Our classroom investigation revealed some challenges in giving feedback that effectively guides students on how to revise their work. One significant example concerns how students communicate purpose. While students may have attempted to communicate a specific purpose in one part of their introduction, often the introduction as a whole lacked focus. Even after receiving feedback, students were largely unable to recognize this problem or understand what kind of revision was appropriate.

Efficient and Effective Feedback – A Lesson Study Investigating Students’ Responses and Follow-up to Feedback on their Writing (Full Report)

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)

Education: Six-Trait Writing for Content Teachers

Title: Six-Trait Writing for Content Teachers
Discipline(s) or Field(s): Reading Education, Elementary Education, Secondary Education
Authors: Judy C. Lambert, Joan N. Steiner, Melissa Stinnett, University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
Submission Date: February 28, 2008

The goal of this project was to develop a self-contained lesson on six-trait writing specifically appropriate for content area teachers. It was intended to be a lesson that could fit into several literacy courses. In the developed lesson for Literacy and Language in the Content Areas and Foundations of Literacy in the Elementary School, undergraduate students participated in specific activities to generate new learning regarding the teaching and assessment of writing using 6-trait analysis. Learning goals for the students were:

  1. to learn and understand the components of 6-trait writing;
  2. to learn how to evaluate writing using a trait rubric;
  3. to understand how writing can support the teaching and learning of content material;
  4. to understand and appreciate 6-trait writing from the view point of the language arts teacher and the content area teacher;
  5. to experience and understand pair/share, list-group-label and cloze as instructional techniques;
  6. to self-assess learning

Students participated in an activity to activate and share their prior knowledge about writing in general. A mini-lesson followed regarding 6-trait writing and using rubrics for trait assessment. Students were provided practice in analyzing and evaluating a piece of writing using a specific 6-trait rubric. Throughout the lesson students participated in activities such as pair/share, list-group-label and cloze as examples of instructional techniques to use in their future classrooms. The different activities as well as the interactional design of the lesson were an attempt to facilitate learning and the application of developing skills.

Lesson and Study Materials:

English: Using sample papers effectively

Title: Using sample papers effectively in the classroom
Discipline(s) or Field(s): College Writing, Research, Freshmen Seminar
Authors: Kyla Moore and Debra Siebert, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Submission Date: March 2, 2009

Executive Summary:  The purpose of this study is structure an activity that effectively helps students to see multiple uses for sample writing that is shared in the classroom. Students are asked to participate in two sets of small groups to discuss a sample paper, and the ways it could be read and used effectively. Each small group meets for 15-20 minutes. The first group brainstorms how to read the sample paper through a particular pedagogical lens, while the second group focuses on synthesizing the lenses represented. The group summaries demonstrate that when students are given a carefully constructed lesson, they are able to recognize and discuss multiple perspectives of a text and then synthesize them collaboratively. Additionally, a pattern emerged from our reading of student self-reflections: students overwhelmingly claimed that the lesson will both help them consider and analyze their audiences and consider multiple viewpoints when reading and writing.

English Lesson Study: Using samples papers effectively (Final Report)
Link to material used to teach the lesson: