Fall 2017

Thanks to the 12 of you who submitted your choices for the focus of this term’s Fall research project. The topic that received the most votes was “the effectiveness of different modes of commenting on student work,” so that will be the focus of all of our projects this year.

What does this mean for you?  It means that you should begin to think about precisely what you would like to examine about the effectiveness of a way that you comment on students’ work in your Eng 12 or 24 course this Fall. My recommendation is to take a small slice of this rather broad category and focus on looking at one way that you comment on student work rather than trying to study multiple ways at once during a very short semester! In my mind, there are many ways we comment on student work: traditional written comments in the margins in print papers, written comments embedded in the text of digital papers, comments (print or digital) written as end notes/letters in response to a student paper, audio comments, and video/screen capture comments. Further, we use each of these comments differently: are we responding to grammar/mechanics errors?, are we asking questions about something the student wrote?, are we making suggestions about something a student might try in the next draft?, or are we doing something different? Even beyond our own comments, peer review is a form of commenting on students work.

So, in designing your project, try to be quite specific about what you’d like to examine, and think about how will you “capture” some data on it, and how you will assess the effectiveness of it. Will you ask/survey students about their perceptions of a particular form of commenting?  Or will you do an analysis of the revisions that are written after a certain type of commenting? Operationalizing what “effective” means is part of the intellectual task of this project, and it will likely look different in our various research projects.

Lastly, please remember that these projects can be done solo or they can be done collaboratively with some of your collaboration group colleagues. Sometime working together can actually be easier because you can support each other in finding secondary sources, etc.

Jackie will be in touch shortly with a version of the description of these Fall research projects that take this new focus into account.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time with questions.


Annie & Jackie


Gen Ed assessment files:




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