Giving Students Feedback: As a Teacher, As a Peer, As a Writing Coach

When a student needs feedback from teachers, it is important for the teacher to think what the student want to hear. If a teacher questions why a student wrote something in a certain way that teacher should find something in the essay that does this well. This way the teacher is pointing out something that worked so the student can use that as a tool to fix other parts of the essay. If a teacher cannot find a good example, then phrasing a question with the idea the student used to help the student find a solution. By doing this, the student sees what the teacher wants. Also, it is important for teachers to example on questions that just contain, “how?”, “why?”, “so what?”, or just even a question mark. By expanding on these questions it does not shut the student down by thinking he or she is not writing well. Instead, it will, give the student a starting point to help him or her write to a fuller potential with support.

 

Besides receiving a teacher’s feedback, students also receive feedback from their peers. Many times, peers tend to write, “this is good idea” or “good example”. Peers may not be as knowledge as teachers when it comes to giving feedback on the same thing they are also working. However, if peers do write “good example” to other peers, they should example why it is a good example. Such as, it supports the thesis or it shows the topic of the paragraph. By doing this, it may make the peer realize how good of an example it really is or question if they are taking their peer revisions seriously. In order for peers to take peer revisions more seriously, it is important for them to understand the rubric of the assignment and point what it requires in their peers writing. Not only will this help them evaluate their peers, but it will make them understand the assignment better, which may help their writing too.

 

As a writing coach this semester, with our class, it is important for us to take into consideration both what teachers and peers should be giving as feedback. This is important because are in between that. We are only slightly higher than these high school students since we are in college, yet below a teacher since we are studying to be teachers. Therefore, we should be reading the prompts the students are given to write about carefully, so we can see if they touch on what they are suppose to. Based on what we did or did like when our teachers gave us feedback in high school we should use to our advantage. For instance, if it frustrated us to just see “why?” in the margins of our papers we should be phrasing this as “why is this important in this paragraph? Or to the thesis? Or is it fully supporting your textual evidence?”.

 

All three of these roles share responsibility because each one is experienced in different ways. Peers typically reflect in positive feedback because they want to be considerate of their classmates because they are going through the same thing. As writing coaches, we have taken college courses and understand what is needed in an essay but also understand the feelings of peer work; therefore, we are giving similar feedback to both a peer and a teacher. Finally, a teacher is giving feedback that supports what is required and what should be seen in the writing. Together though, they are different since all three positions are offering different insight based on our knowledge and education.

 

This resource link provides some ideas I mentioned above about giving students feedback. It touches on the importance of understanding rubrics, explaining to students how they should give feedback to their peers (because often they may not know how), and focusing on giving comments to students versus just correcting them. Besides those points, there are many others, which are important when helping students with writing.

Resource Link:

Tips for Grading and Giving Students Feedback

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One thought on “Giving Students Feedback: As a Teacher, As a Peer, As a Writing Coach

  1. As a student, the worst possible thing to have on my paper is a question mark. It only adds to the confusion. Like you explain, when reviewing a writer’s work, it is important to be specific. Using complete sentences and asking thoughtful questions are very important to the writer during revision. The process also gives the writer a different point of view when reading another person’s remarks on the essay.

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