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You CAN fit in an Eli Review free trial before the end of Spring 2017

Like you, I’m counting down the days until the semester wraps up. My first-year writing students at a community college are working on finishing up a fourth major project. We’re all tired.

To do our best work now, we need tiny goals. By assigning reviews that focus on only one aspect of the final draft, I help reviewers manage the cognitive load of review and their own exhaustion.

This final round of feedback happens in a 75 minute class in a lab setting. Here’s how:

Task Drafts Reviewed Feedback Types Time
01 Thesis

(See the class report)

2
  • Check for features of a thesis
  • Rate overall effectiveness
  • Offer a suggestion
15-20 minutes
02 Organization
(See one writer’s report)
2
  • Highlight topic sentences; summarize main point
  • Evaluate organization after reviewing your notes about each paragraph. Offer suggestions.
25-30 minutes
03 Sources & Citation
(See the class report.)
1
  • Check for minimum requirements for citation.
  • Rating for in-text citation
  • Rating for bibliographic citation
  • Contextual comments
10-15 minutes

Last fall, reviewers wrote about 700 words total in this sequence. If I’d asked for 2.5 pages of feedback per reviewer or even half a page for 3 drafts, the task would have seemed overwhelming. Instead, reviewers took these bite-sized, focused tasks in stride.

This series of targeted reviews also makes sure that writers get feedback from five different students as they prepare the final draft; that usually guarantees that students encountered drafts at the high and low ends of their zones of proximal development. Those five reviewers have focused on the final paper’s most important criteria: thesis, organization, and citation. Reviewers might have also thrown in a few proofreading suggestions, but that’s extra.  Writers leave class with the feedback they need to finish the last paper well.

A series of targeted reviews like these around full drafts can work well for instructors who are currently using Eli. It’s also a great assignment sequence for brand-new users to add the free two-week trial before the term ends.

You’d be surprised by how much feedback students can give and receive in just one class with Eli Review. They can even prioritize that feedback by writing a punch-list for revisions in the revision plan too.

Cover photo credit: Drew Brayshaw

You CAN fit in an Eli Review free trial before the end of Spring 2017 was published to the Eli Review Blog in the category Pedagogy.

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