Archive for the ‘Discount Peer Response’ Category

I had a meeting on Friday where I described my thesis and my idea of discount peer response. At first, the person I was talking to thought it was a fine name, but when I started going through my ideas and hit Peer Response 2.0, she said that was perfect and that the idea was ‘newsworthy.’

She thinks that the real place to focus is the use of Google Docs with peer response, and to both address how the students use it and how the teachers use it. Showing that it makes revision an active part of the process is a great step. It’s very exciting, and now I have a myriad of sources to investigate before I turn two pages of my thesis into an article length paper.

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In about 10 minutes, I’m going to a meeting to discuss my theory of discount peer response. In a few months, assuming I can still get a plane ticket, I’ll present it at CCCC (which was iffy for a bit, until I found I had departmental funding). Somewhere between now and the beginning of the fall semester, I’m going to try to rewrite my thesis into a solid article, and try to publish it in CCC. I’ve already been advised on three major issues: the tone (less as an experienced teacher, more as an exploring one), the references (need more cutting edge stuff), and the name.

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The semester is thankfully nearly over. While I do have about 150 pages of grading to do, I get to start that on Friday, giving me plenty of time to work it all out. And while I do have two major papers, drafts for both are finished (thanks to me forgoing Thanksgiving). There will also be a take home exam, but I’ve seen the questions and they are interesting and thought provoking. Plus I have time to gather quotations and write outline before I know which question I’m answering.

So semester break is rapidly approaching. Only it won’t be a break. Yeah, I’ll take a few days off, and take it pretty easy most of the rest of the time, but I’ve got a lot of work to do. (more…)

Much as I would love this to flow out of me as a fully formed academic argument, complete with support and high enough quality to immediately merit publication (and, as long as I’m dreaming, wide spread accolade), that just isn’t going to happen. So, at best, I can call this a brainstorm that may eventually lead to part of an academic argument.

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I was having some slow-internet problems, so I decided to write this post off line and see if I could get it posted. I don’t know why I tell you this, but, in the interest of full disclosure, there it is.

I find myself thinking a lot about the future lately. (more…)

I’ve finished grading the first set of papers. These papers, remember, were written exclusively with DPR. Not surprisingly, some people got no help at all from the peer edits. In probably half those cases, the reason they got no help was that they ignored the suggestions that were provided. The rest of the time, suggestions remained on the surface.

What was surprising was that, on the whole, the papers were better. I think I graded more harshly because of my own new grading policy (that students who want an A in the course have to rewrite papers until they are of A quality), but even still, the vast majority of my students received a B or better. But that’s not what I mean by the papers being better.

When I graded papers last semester, I was astounded by how many students forgot to do little things, like include a title page. I would say that at least 30% of the students forgot that particular item. Considering that there were only 10 items they were being graded on (which they chose as a class), and that a title page is SUCH an easy thing to do, that was a bit surprising.

This time around, there were 3 papers without title pages. Out of 40, that’s pretty good. But there’s more. (more…)

<edit: I don’t know why the paragraphs didn’t come through. Hopefully, they’re visible now. sorry about that.>

I mentioned already that I tried DPR in class. I wanted to take some time and go into specifics for how I did it, so that any who care to try themselves have a baseline to jump from.I began by asking my class how many of them had done peer response in some form in the past. Virtually everyone said they had. I followed up by asking how many of them had gotten any real help from doing it. The number of hands decreased dramatically.

So I asked those who got help what kind of help they got. For the most part, they could tell me nothing more than help with grammar and spelling. The only other comment was that sometimes it helps to have someone else tell you your paper is good.

I then turned to the rest of the class and asked them why peer response didn’t help them in the past. Some people said they didn’t know what to look for, some said that they just focused on little things because that’s what they were supposed to do, some said they didn’t trust one another, and some said they didn’t know what to look for.

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