Global Innovation Awards 2016: Honorable Mention

Category: Student Engagement | Higher Education | North America

Lisa Linder

Lisa Linder

Assistant Professor: San Diego State University, California

Lisa Linder teaches an education psychology class for which the signature assignment requires students to apply the concepts they learned in her class to what they observed in an external classroom setting. They must deliver a sizeable paper that answers multiple, in-depth prompts. However, she frequently saw students missing prompts or producing writing that did not meet her expectations, or both. Therefore, she decided to restructure the exercise so that students wrote their papers while receiving plenty of feedback not just from peer reviewers-- but from peer review partners.

Dr. Linder managed the peer review part of the process using Turnitin Feedback Studio’s Peer Review. First, she broke the paper out into sections, and aligned each section to the lessons she would be teaching during class. Her students work on and write each paper section at a time. Students receive points not just for writing, but also for reviewing others’ papers. Peers choose their own review partners, since this allows them to select someone with whom they feel safe in sharing their writing. Reviews are made according to a pre-determined, comprehensive rubric. This rubric also provides advice on how to evaluate another student’s paper. For instance, it tells them to offer suggestions, rather than commands. Additionally, she encourages her students, as reviewers, to talk with the authors and ask more questions. In this way, they engage, as partners, in deep conversations about the writing.

The results were that, being exposed to other people’s writing and comments, the students’ final papers improved drastically. The writing was of higher quality, and many more students finished all of the required components. In addition, Dr. Linder, not needing to review each and every single draft, had more time to dedicate to teaching the concepts her students would apply and how to write about them.

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