It is effective use of time to have student respond in class to the writing of their peers. Here’s a structure that works well for a 50-60 minute class meeting. Keep in mind, it may take three tries doing it before students feel comfortable with the process. Sample guideline for structuring class is at this link to IN-CLASS PEER RESPONSE and set of slides Versions of In-Class Peer Feedback to share with students or colleagues.
See list below of Seven Values for this use of class time.
Value #1: Students get feedback on their drafts from at least three peers. Each reader focuses on one portion of the draft
Classmate A – CONTENT sufficient to meet requirements of assignment
Classmate B – STRUCTURE of essay, of paragraphs, of sentences
Classmate C – LANGUAGE, QUALITY OF RESOURCES or EVIDENCE, MUGS (Mechanics, Usage, Grammar, Spelling), etc.
Sometimes, it would be better to use a version of the SIX-TRAITS Writing rubric and organize responses where students respond to
Classmate A –Traits 1 and 4
Classmate B – Traits 2 and 5
Classmate C – Traits 3 and 6
Value #2: Students get to read ways their classmates respond to the assignment and have a sense of the pool in which their paper will be graded. They can see how strong or weak their writing may seem when read before or after that of their classmates.
Value #3: Students get to see what works and what doesn’t work in the writing, and maybe even see ways to improve their own work as they use the same rubric or grading guidelines as the teacher will use to evaluate their writing.
Value #4: Students receive feedback from three different readers who will have given specific commendations and recommendations the writers can take into consideration during revision stage.
Value #5: Teacher does not have to spend hours reading and responding to drafts when s/he can teach students to do the work. 🙁
Value #6: Teachers can scan the drafts and responses posted on line and be prepared to tailor lessons for next class meeting that include commendations on what already is well written, and recommendations to help students during the revision step. 😐
Value #7: Teachers receive empathy from students who see how long it could take to read and respond succinctly to a whole set of papers :-). Students may be a little more patient when it takes a teacher longer than 24 hours to return graded assignments.