Unit 12: Post-Secondary: Young Adults & Adults


I’m — oh, yeah, “talking”
and “taking action.” I think they are…verbs, verbs,
but there is no verbs. Oh, this is noun. I use peer assessment
in my classes a lot because I think again,
it goes back to the idea of autonomy and helping
the students stand on their own two feet
in terms of improving their writing
and developing criteria of what makes good writing. And by seeing, again, seeing
examples of their peers’ writing and being able to compare it
to their own writing, they can, again, say “Wow, this
is — I did a really good job.” Or, “Ugh, I’ve got some areas
I need to improve.” The feedback activity was
helpful because I learn about
my mistake, and I saw my friend’s mistake
and learn about it. I got different information
from different students and all different opinion,
uh-huh. And each of the students
has a new opinion. So the activity that we did
was an editing activity, and the students were asked to
edit a first draft of an essay. And before, of course, they got
to the editing step, the students had learned
the different parts that make an effective essay, from a strong thesis statement
to body paragraphs that had topic sentences,
explaining sentences, all the different parts
that make a strong paragraph. So let’s just go over
the checklist again. So go to any station and follow
the directions for highlighting, and then you’ll always see an
example from our example essay. Check each item using
the guide questions. Make any necessary changes
and/or initial your checklist. So, if you need to change
something, don’t be afraid to go and
hand-write in your essay. That’s fine. Ask a classmate
to check your essay. They should only initial
if they agree, so don’t just say “okay, here”,
you know, sign it and not look,
that’s not helpful. Okay? And then go to a new station only after you and a classmate
have agreed. All right, how are
you doing, Mike? Okay, good. Sign my name here? You just initial, your name. But you must write here. It was short. Ah. Certain factors
you must explain. Maybe the first one
is not so clear. So how many paragraphs
do you have, three or two? – Three, right?
– Three, yeah. The goal of this activity was
for the students to notice the strengths
in their essays, the things they’d done
really well and that they were proud of, but also to see where maybe
they were missing some ideas or missing some parts, or possibly where the
information wasn’t as good as it could be. This activity improved
my — my essay. For example, it improved
my introduction, and I used many examples. Or I have a new — a new vocab, and I used a concluding
sentence. Also another goal was for
students to see other examples, their peers’ essays,
so that they could compare, “Wow, Yuki did this really well, but maybe mine was better
in this other part”. So they could kind of develop an inner criteria of what makes
a strong essay. I think one of the big benefits
of this activity is for students to see many
different kinds of writing from their peers and also to
evaluate their own writing in comparison to their peers. They see examples
of strong writing. They see examples
of weak writing. And then they can kind of see
how their writing falls in, in this whole mix. I learn from their mistakes,
yes. For example, Yuki, my friend
Yuki, her essay doesn’t have — doesn’t have introduction
section, so I checked my introduction
section again. I think, “Therefore they will
accept his judgment.” So yeah, I’m sorry I didn’t… – Short examples.
– Mm-hmm. – So it’s okay?
– It’s — I think it’s okay. As I was walking around
and listening to students, I noticed a lot
of serious conversations. A lot of students, especially
the ones who had weaker writing, really noticing that they had
a lot of work to do on their essays. One of the students, she had written a very short
paragraph-style essay, which was not enough,
and she had made a list of everything she needed
to improve on her essay. She was like “I need to —
I need to have bridges, I need to have stronger
topic sentences.” So she had noticed all that. So when she and I met the — when I had actually
read her essay and made comments afterwards,
I said — I started talking about
everything that I thought she needed
to proof. She was like “Yeah, I know. I really noticed that
in this activity, I was missing a lot of things.” And so she had already decided how she wanted to change
her essay without me telling her
what she needed to do. It was very empowering for her, and her second draft
was much better. My teacher always teach me
how to — how to write a correct sentence
and essay, and my friends teach me I should write more correct
and more clearly this part. Do you agree with me? – Yeah, I agree with you.
– Oh, thank you. I think they —
they learn that they can rely on each other and themselves. A big part of my job is to help
them become autonomous learners, and because I’m not going to be
there forever to hold their hands, and so they learn that they can
get useful feedback from their peers,
and they can also take a critical look
at their own writing. If they know what makes
strong writing, they can look
at their own writing and make the changes
that they need. I like this activity because it
has helped me a lot in my writing,
and it will improve my writing in the future,
like in the university. I should use the essay
in the university and all professor
needs the essay or writing essay in their class. Yeah, yeah, perfect. What about that?
That’s the problem here. I think there’s a problem. – What’s the problem?
– This one? Yeah, do you think there
is a problem or not? This… no, it’s not —
I don’t know it. It’s not a real example. Ok, I’m going to talk to her
about that. So, but you said
it’s okay with that? That’s okay, yeah. – Closing sentences.
– Oh, here. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, perfect. I think that
alternative assessments are a little harder to control. Standard assessments where,
for an essay, a standard assessment
would be me taking the essays, marking them up,
giving them comments, and then having them make
changes. By having them do it themselves, you can’t always control
that they’re going to do what you’re expecting them
to do, so that’s one of the challenges, but the benefit is they feel — again, they feel really
in control of their writing and improving their writing. So you can use
to communicate enough and be calm down,
and be patient. – Be patient.
– Yeah. You must… same time
or same way, like here: discussion, mediation. This is your topic sentence.
Oh, okay. Yeah, I changed it. Okay, I see. Oh, you missed your
topic sentence. Yeah. This activity is useful because it makes me understand
how to write a good essay and the structure of essay. So after this activity,
I can write better. I think for teachers
who want to try this type of alternative
assessment, it takes — it may take a lot of
preparation. This activity was pretty
labor-intensive on my part: getting the stations ready,
getting the highlighters. That type of organization
really took a lot of logistics and setup,
but the benefits of doing it, I think, are much greater
than the effort that I had to put into
developing the activity. So I say go for it. If you’re interested in
alternative assessments, go for it!

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