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Receiving grades on assignments is a challenge for anyone and anyone who has tried to publish knows how challenging it is to receive feedback on one's writing.

Learning to incorporate feedback to improve one's writing is a learned skill.

Over time, I am working to build more opportunities to learn and develop students' skills in receiving and applying feedback to foster learning.

  • In all my classes, I have built-in class time in the computer lab to be present and available as student draft their essays.
  • I’m continuing to keep grammar as a minor part of writing as per the teaching strategies of my predecessors, and the structure of the course that only assigns 10% of the marking to grammar.  Some students I encounter take writing feedback as solely to be about polishing grammar and often miss the most important feedback about support, structure, and coherence, so it's important to continue to reinforce the message that grammar is only one small part of successful writing.
  • For English 050 and 090, I’ve also made it possible for students to do these first two assignments in a group to get some peer support going.
  • For English 090, I’m putting the Information Literacy Research Binder right at the beginning of the semester and pairing it with a Formal Essay Outline assignment.  This is to ensure the entire class, whether this is their first college prep English class or if they have just finished English 050, are starting the semester with the same level of information literacy and writing planning skills.
  • In English 090, I’m piloting the new assignment Calibrated Peer Reviews to help students practice and learn how to give and take writing feedback. I have assigned 5% of the final grade to these assignments, in keeping with approaches used for other courses (see Science 113 at UBC) and to reinforce the importance to the students of learning to use and incorporate feedback.
  • For English 090, I’ve increased the number of writing exercises related specifically to the Research Essay since this is where so many students struggle to be successful in all their 100-level assignments.
  • Wherever possible, I am building class activities into class time, removing lecture time, to give more time on the big-picture stuff like structure, support, argumentation, etc. giving more time to practice the revising, editing, and rewriting techniques available.