Be clear about what “review” and “revise” mean, and give your students in-class practice with essay drafts.
GSIs sometimes see student papers that are dense with linguistic errors or lack basic rhetorical structures. Here are some effective ways to address the problems while also protecting your time.
by Julie Wesp, Anthropology
I wanted to create an environment that would stimulate higher-order learning and instill a deeper understanding and organization of the information. Answering the kind of questions the students were asking did not help them to piece together the parts into a whole; it only insinuated that repetitive memorization was the key to success. In an effort to break this cycle, during the next section I simply stopped answering them.
by Jeff Benca, Integrative Biology
During the in-class debate, we focused on the question “What caused earth’s greatest mass extinction?” … It was truly inspiring for me to hear both discussion sections of the class spend 1.5 hours actively … debating which arguments held most credence by analyzing the approaches of the papers, considering the expertise of the authors, and applying trends in the fossil record covered in previous lectures.
by Sarah Mangin, English
We spent a few minutes venting about our most memorable Kafkaesque ordeals, from S.A.T. testing nightmares to transcript requests … By cultivating a collaborative environment for thinking about literary allusiveness, our class found opportunities to make these references first familiar and then potent.
by Jennifer Johnson, Linguistics (Home Department: Education)
I needed to develop in-class peer review and self review activities that assist students in exploring, understanding, and contesting feedback. … How do I help students develop metacognitive skills — in other words, reflect on their reflections?
by Rebecca Elliott, Sociology
In deference to the time they put into writing their exams, I spend considerable time writing up my reactions. I provide substantive feedback in the form of questions and comments, in both marginal notes and in a narrative paragraph…[but] how could I ensure that my students read, reflected, and internalized my feedback in a way that would improve their skills and enhance their learning?
by Jessica Smith, Chemistry
Prepared students are slow because they meticulously follow the directions rather than thinking critically about the purpose of each step…Students of science become scientists as they begin to comprehend how different steps contribute to an experiment rather than blindly following directions.
by Sean Tanner, Public Policy
I experimented with a method of collecting student feedback that would force the students to make tradeoffs in my time and effort. I gave them a list of the potentially alterable activities I perform as a teacher…All told, I had eighteen hours per week to distribute across nine teaching activities. Each student reapportioned my time to suit his needs.
The importance of writing drafts, and the differences between editing and revising.