ON DEMAND: Achieve Better Student Writing Outcomes with Less Grading Stress: An Inductive Activity for Student Revision and Error Correction in Writing Assignments
Marking errors and providing feedback on student writing is labor intensive and time consuming for instructors. What’s more, it’s often not fully effective. Students may not understand the feedback and therefore not make thoughtful changes. Alternatively, because this traditional approach is a teacher-initiated sequence, students might make changes in that one instance, but not develop a critical awareness needed for writing effectively in future assignments.
Instead, I propose an inductive activity in which the sequence is reversed. Rather than receiving papers with errors marked and comments from instructors, students themselves identify and categorize strong and weak exemplars of writing, co-construct rule based knowledge about exemplary writing, collectively determine strategies for improvement, and apply these strategies to strengthening their own writing. This activity can be done with macro-level elements of writing (e.g, content, development, use of evidence, structure) for any type of writing assignment as well as micro-level grammar, word choice, and sentence structure. It can be done at various stages in the writing process such as before a peer review, after a first draft, or before a final graded draft. It is useful for native English speaking students and multi-lingual students alike.
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