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Working on your videos, Style part 2, and what folks thought about peer review – English 328: Writing, Style, & Technology
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Working on your videos, Style part 2, and what folks thought about peer review

First off, my apologies for this being a little later than I had intended.  One thing after another, etc.

But the nice thing is that all of you are first and foremost (hopefully) working on your movie making projects.  I want to point out that on the schedule, the main thing going on right now this week and next week is time I have set aside for you to work on your collaborative video projects.  I do that on purpose because I know you all need time to coordinate meeting with each (in person and/or online), you need time to edit the project, etc.

But do use that time wisely!  As I point out on the schedule, ideally groups will have their videos posted on the class web site and ready for review before Thanksgiving break and we’ll talk about them on the Monday after break, too.

Speaking of using time wisely:  Style part 2 is due on Monday!  The dropbox for this unit is already set up– that is, it’s the same one that you used for Style part 1.  So what you want to do is return to that dropbox space and post the link to the Google doc version of your revised (based on peer review, that is) Style part 2 project, just like you’ve done before.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Finally about peer review.  For the most part, it seems like the process went better this third time, which isn’t that surprising to me.  Here are a few interesting observations from your blogs on this point:

in all honesty, I loved doing editing for the style project. both of the other projects in my group were great concepts and well done, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them. I felt that there wasn’t even much editing to do because people put so much thought into their concepts that they carried themselves really well. also, I think we’ve all grown accustomed to working with google docs and therefore editing with it has been easier. my brother recently sent me a paper to edit on gdocs, and I was actually really mad at  him for not setting it so that I could edit it. I had to email him and tell him how to do it, which is ironic because only a few months ago I had no clue gdocs even existed. it was frustrating that my formatting didn’t come out quite as planned with gdocs, but I’m going to work with it and try to make it still look how I wanted it.

I think this is great because remember one of the reasons we’re using Google Docs is because one of the charges of this class is to teach/expose you to/get you to practice with technologies that might be useful for both writing and teaching.  So for me, this comment makes me feel like I’ve accomplished at least a part of my mission!

This peer review was my best one so far. I don’t know if it was because the project was a fun/ny one, or if it was the people in my peer review group, but this review was smooth. My two peers and I really got down to the nitty-gritty on this review, but I think that was because we all had really well-done drafts. I know at least for myself that my last two papers I was not as far along when the peer review came about. We all had really solid starts to our drafts this time, and really solid ideas as well. All of us chose topics that were fun, and that we enjoy, and that made me enjoy reading my peers drafts, and giving them feedback.

I could definitely feel a difference with the peer review process this time around. I felt more comfortable with Google docs, with saying positive and negative things, and just diving into the process with more abandon. I enjoyed asking questions and trying to point out areas that I thought needed clarification and I looked forward to receiving feedback from my reviewers. This time around, I engaged in more dialogue-like conversations with my peer review group. For example, I asked a question about an area of Megan’s guide that I didn’t understand. She explained what she meant and asked how she could make it more clear to me. So, I went back into her document and offered additional thoughts. Other times, all 3 members of my group commented on the same element and had a conversation about it. It just felt more natural in a way.

For me, both of these comments are speaking about the familiarity with Google docs (and of course the more you use a tool, the better you are going to be at it), and also about the familiarity with each other and the process of peer review.  Again, this fits with past experiences for me:  it’s a lot easier to do peer review after some practice and after you know your peers better.  And it also helps that this is one of the assignments that I think students get into because of the nature of the assignment and where we’re at in the class.

But not everybody thought this peer review was great, and I thought that one comment kind of summed up one of the reasons why that might be the case for some:

I kinda feel like every peer review has been the same for me. Some advice was good, other advice wasn’t. I do feel as if peer review is helpful and necessary, but sometimes people don’t care enough to edit each others paper lol.

Here’s the thing:  as a teacher, there’s lots of stuff I can do to try to get you to learn things in this class.  But one thing I can’t do– at least not automatically– is make you care.  And if you don’t care, well, there’s not much I can do.  So I guess what I would say is (along with everything else we’ve talked about in terms of peer review and such) you’ve got to find a reason to care.

Posted in Class Assignments.

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