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    Lesson Study in 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: Brooks, Taggert; Knowles, Elizabeth; Kopp, Bryan; Murray, James; Strangman, Laurie
    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)

    Evolution across the Biology curriculum at UW-L: Departmental initiation & implementation process


    The Wisconsin Teaching Scholars and Fellows Program, sponsored by the UW System Office of Professional & Instructional Development (OPID), involves outstanding instructors from UW institutions who participate in a year long study of teaching and learning. Teaching Fellows are early career, untenured faculty or academic staff and Teaching Scholars are mid to late career individuals. Participants attend Faculty College, a Summer Institute in Madison, and several meetings during the year. Each participant completes a substantial scholarship of teaching and learning project. To learn more about the program see For additional information contact Bill Cerbin,

    Adam Van LiereAdam Van Liere, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, is in his third year as a faculty member at UW-L. His teaching and research interests include a variety of topics related to the study of international relations, such as the challenges facing global governance, the role of various state and non-state actors in global politics, and, especially, the politics of globalization. As a Teaching Fellow, Adam is especially interested in exploring strategies for engaging students in global learning. As such, he would like to explore ways of measuring change in students’ perceptions of global challenges, global citizenship, and global learning that may result from learning opportunities that are explicitly linked to other options for global learning, like study abroad, provided to students here at UW-L.

    Tesia MarshikTesia Marshik, Assistant Professor of Psychology, is in her fourth year as a faculty member a UW-L. She teaches courses in developmental psychology (including lifespan and adolescent development), educational psychology, and a specialization course on human motivation. Her scholarly endeavors involve exploring the nature of students’ motivation and self-control skills, understanding how they are influenced by contextual factors (such as classroom practices and interactions with teachers), and how they relate to academic outcomes. As a teaching fellow, Tesia wants to investigate how students understand, relate to, and apply educational research to their own experiences (both as current students and as future educators/practitioners). In particular, she plans to explore the extent to which a structured, semester-long project improves students’ abilities to consume educational and psychological research. This project has been developed over the course of multiple semesters and now she is interested in more formally assessing students’ performance relevant to course learning objectives. She also plans to explore and assess the relative value of each component of the assignment and teaching materials in order to determine what works best, what could be improved, and students’ perceptions of the value of this assignment.

    Natalie EschenbaumNatalie Katerina Eschenbaum, Assistant Professor of English, is in her sixth year as a faculty member at UW-L. She teaches a variety of courses in English literature and writing, including College Writing I, English Literature I, Foundations for Literary Study, English Renaissance, Shakespeare I and II, and Milton. Her research focuses on English poetry of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-centuries. Recently, she has been looking at literary depictions of the five bodily senses, as well as the ways in which writers employ the affect of disgust. As a scholar of teaching and learning, Natalie plans to address a seemingly simple question: What advantages come from teaching difficult poetry in a General Education course? She wants to systematically consider which specific transferable skills are gained as a student moves towards a reading of a poem that, at first read, seems impenetrable. Her work is inspired, in part, by Charles Bernstein's The Attack of the Difficult Poem (Chicago University Press, 2011) and his suggestion that reading for difficulty makes people better critical thinkers. She also plans to link her thinking to recent cognitive science research (Natalie Phillips' 2012 Stanford University study) that suggests reading literature critically activates higher level brain functions. In the end, Natalie hopes to make difficult poetry more accessible to her students, but also to make lucid the reasons why such interpretive work is essential.

    Using student-centered activities to promote a better understanding of how evolution applies to human health

    Tisha C. King-Heiden and Megan Litster

     King-Heiden and Litster SoTL poster image

    Does the Assignment of Student-Generated Questions Improve Student Learning Outcomes?

    Laurie Strangman