My “exhibit” this week is actually drawn more from last week than this week, but it was inspired by the Deletiner piece on negotiated curriculum. I was not particularly sold on her pedagogical approach, and don’t know that I would leave such a large piece of the curriculum up for joint-creation (though perhaps it would be interesting to leave a week or two, which I hadn’t considered), or give quite so much of the work of evaluation to fellow students, but her essay reminded me of an idea I really liked from last week–Miller’s group conference idea from Strategies For Teaching First Year Composition. The plan is basically this:
Students in groups of three or four will distribute drafts of a project to one another, and then we will all meet as a group to discuss them together, making sure that everyone at least makes one positive and one constructive comment on each. At the end, everyone shares their plan for revision.
What I really like about this idea is that it helps pull together the different types of feedback a student receives, and hopefully can keep them from privileging only the teacher’s feedback. As Miller points out, this could improve how students see their ability to comment on the writing of others, and encourage them to listen to one another. For a large class, too, or for someone teaching a lot of sections of comp, I feel like it could be logistically really useful as well.