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Spring 2016 Western Michigan University Resources

This page describes a sandbox of customizable assignments WMU faculty can use in Eli Review to encourage better feedback and revisions. Instructors have access to the sandbox after they’ve created an account at app.elireview.com and been enrolled in the sandbox as a co-instructor by Melissa Meeks. The sandbox includes three projects:

WMU Customizable Assignments Overview

Once you are enrolled in this course as a co-instructor, when you create writing/review tasks in the courses where your students have enrolled, you’ll be able to “load from task library.”

library-load

Once loaded, you can customize before assigning to students.

We highly encourage instructors to customize these tasks, and we’ve suggested ways to make them better. Targeted reviews lead to the best feedback. As task designers, we can’t know what you want your students to focus on. Our strategy in these tasks is to be thorough, so that you can easily delete aspects you don’t want to teach that day. We’ve overpacked these tasks, so you can use them multiple times, deleting different parts each time.

NOTE: In the sandbox course, please DO NOT DELETE OR MODIFY an existing task. You may add more tasks to share with your colleagues.

Think-Pair Share Activities about Feedback and Revision

These curriculum materials are primarily designed to help orient students to a feedback-rich classroom. They include two think-pair-share activities in which students read modules, write short responses, and then review peers’ responses in preparation for class discussion.

Instructors can then use review feedback to frame the discussion about the importance of feedback, revision, and practice for improvement. After discussion, students can use their peer feedback to practice revision planning.

These tasks provide a low-stakes opportunity to learn how to use Eli Review before students use the system for their own writing projects.

Learn more about this set of tasks.

Project 1 Linguist Literacy Autobiography

This set of tasks uses the recommended writing prompt and offers three review tasks designed for this sequence:

project-1

Write

This project begins with a full draft. This assignment asks students to combine an analysis of their personal histories with their analysis of the course readings. This sequence assumes that students will write a full draft before getting feedback.

Make this task better: Typical Eli Review assignments assign smaller bits of writing to motivate revision through rapid feedback cycles. Instructors are encouraged to find ways to require students to draft in small bits such as

  • outlines
  • one body paragraph about a literacy practice
  • section on personal history analysis
  • section on course reading analysis

Review

The first review in this cycle answers the question, “Is this draft complete?” The review “Linguistic Literacy Autobiography: Content and Approach” uses the language in the writing task as a guide for how reviewers respond to drafts. This review is comprehensive.

Make this task better: As with dividing long writing tasks into smaller bits, we recommend that instructors divide this review to focus on one or two things each time; targeted reviews help students better manage the cognitive load of reading drafts and responding according to criteria. Here are two strategies:

  • Split the review. Instructors could split this review to only focus on the criteria about students’ personal histories; then, a second review could focus on the criteria for course readings. NOTE: Instructors can assign two reviews to the same draft; so, even if students are writing a full first draft, they can review it in two separate activities as described above.
  • Assign the review twice. This doesn’t reduce the initial cognitive burden, but it gives students more time to process the full list of requirements. If students are writing full first draft, the first review is likely to point out a lot of gaps. Assign the same review again so that students can be confident that they’ve filled those gaps before moving on with the assignment.

Revision

Next, we encourage instructors to assign revision plans. Those tasks are not available in a task library. Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revision plans:

Add comments from your review task. Then, prioritize them. Add notes for each comment so I’ll know what you plan to do because of that comment. Add a note at the bottom directly to me with any additional revision plans you have.

OPTION 1: I’ll respond to you by X date.

OPTION 2: I will not respond to your revision plans this round, but you will use your revision plan for a class activity on X date.

Revision (Write)

When you create a revision task, you have the option of assigning “Revise and Resubmit.” These revised writing tasks are not available in a task library.  Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revise and resubmit assignments:

Follow your revision plan and update your draft.

At this point, students have a fully-revised draft that should meet all the requirements in its content and approach. This same draft will be reviewed twice. Keeping the reviews narrowly focused helps students read more closely and thoroughly.

Review

The second review in this cycle answers the question, “Is the writer’s voice balanced against the sources?” The review “Ethos, Voice, and Source Use” guides reviewers in looking at the writer’s scope, credibility, and voice. It also asks them to assess the quality, quantity, and accuracy of the citations.

NOTE: This review can be re-used with any source-based writing project.

Review

The third review in this cycle answers the question, “Is the draft organized?” The review “Organization” starts by asking reviewers to compose a reverse outline, which tells the writer what main ideas readers notice. Then, reviewers assess whether the draft includes a hook, a claim, topic sentences, and connections.

NOTE: This review can be re-used with any source-based writing project.

Revision

Next, we encourage instructors to assign revision plans. Those tasks are not available in a task library. Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revision plans:

Add comments from your review task. Then, prioritize them. Add notes for each comment so I’ll know what you plan to do because of that comment. Add a note at the bottom directly to me with any additional revision plans you have.

Since final drafts are due shortly, I will not respond to your revision plans this round, but you will use your revision plan for a class activity on X date.

Revision (Write)

When you create a revision task, you have the option of assigning “Revise and Resubmit.” These revised writing tasks are not available in a task library.  Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revise and resubmit assignments:

Follow your revision plan and update your draft.

At this point, students have fully-revised their drafts twice. In class, students could complete small-group work on proofreading before submitting for a grade.

Project 2 Letter to the Editor

This set of tasks guides writers through improving the evidence they use in an opinion piece; then, writers work on organization.

project-2

Write

This project begins with a full draft. This assignment asks students to write an opinion piece for the Western Herald. This sequence assumes that students will write a full draft before getting feedback.

Make this task better: Typical Eli Review assignments assign smaller bits of writing to motivate revision through rapid feedback cycles. Instructors are encouraged to find ways to require students to draft in small bits such as

  • purpose assessment, Bedford Book of Genres page 8
  • topic assessment, Bedford Book of Genres page 269
  • brainstorm,  Bedford Book of Genres page 451
  • section on personal history analysis
  • section on course reading analysis

Review

The first review in this cycle answers the question, “Does this draft have sufficient evidence?” The review “Sufficient Evidence for Persuasive Claim” asks reviewers to describe the main claim and types of evidence used in the draft. Then, reviewers describe the quantity of evidence. After adding comments suggesting specific places in the draft to add evidence, reviewers play the role of an intelligent skeptic, which helps writers anticipate counterarguments from the diverse, general audience of the Western Herald.

NOTE: This review can be re-used with any source-based writing project.

Revision

Next, we encourage instructors to assign revision plans. Those tasks are not available in a task library. Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revision plans:

Add comments from your review task. Then, prioritize them. Add notes for each comment so I’ll know what you plan to do because of that comment. Add a note at the bottom directly to me with any additional revision plans you have.

OPTION 1: I’ll respond to you by X date.

OPTION 2: I will not respond to your revision plans this round, but you will use your revision plan for a class activity on X date.

Revision (Write)

When you create a revision task, you have the option of assigning “Revise and Resubmit.” These revised writing tasks are not available in a task library.  Instructors can learn more about creating revision tasks.

The following instructions can customized for revise and resubmit assignments:

Follow your revision plan and update your draft.

At this point, students have a fully-revised, complete draft.

Review

The second review in this cycle answers the question, “Does this draft meet the expectations of the genre?” The review “Editorials and Opinion Pieces, Bedford Book of Genres” borrows the textbook’s checklists of features for genre, design, and sources (202-205). Giving students an opportunity to use the textbook’s terminology and strategies during peer learning will reinforce what they learn by reading.

In this task, reviewers are asked to address the rhetorical situation through their overall rating of the draft and in their comments.  The comment prompts ask reviewers to do two things related to the rhetorical situation:

  • look for ways to improve writers’ appeals to logic and emotion;
  • be an intelligent skeptic resisting the writer’s style.

The review task does not specifically address audience. Our sense is that your class’s understanding of the audience of the Western Herald will evolve. We encourage you to add the criteria you develop to this review.

NOTE: While this specific review is not re-usable, the strategy of turning the textbook’s checklists into reviews can be effective with any writing assignment.

Need help?

Check out our instructor support and student support.

Please email melissa@elireview.com for help using these materials, developing your own tasks, or interpreting the analytics.

Spring 2016 Western Michigan University Resources was published to the Eli Review Blog in the categories Curriculum, Pedagogy.

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