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)
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 http://www.uwsa.edu/opid/wtfs/index.htm. For additional information contact Bill Cerbin, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adam Van Liere, Assistant
Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, is in
his third year as a faculty member at UWL. 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 UWL.
Tesia Marshik, Assistant
Professor of Psychology, is in her fourth year as a faculty member a UWL.
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
Natalie Katerina Eschenbaum, Assistant Professor of English, is in her sixth year as a faculty member at UWL. 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.
Tisha C. King-Heiden and Megan Litster