Feedback & Fake News

Commenting on Student Papers

Thanks to Serken, we had a very interesting discussion of the stakes involved in responding to student writing via Writing Comments on Student Papers by John Bean.  We spoke about the shifting perspective involved in being a student and receiving a paper back, versus being a teacher who faces a voluminous stack of papers to evaluate.  Somewhere in between these two experiences lies a real need to develop an effective practice – which honors both the developing writer, while still keeping in mind the reality of a teacher’s time constraints.
Bean articulates how easy it is, as a teacher, to forget that there is a person behind each essay that is being read (sometimes ripped apart for errors) and graded. It’s also easy to forget that strong feeling of vulnerability which accompanies allowing someone to read your work—especially if that person is in a position to judge you.  We considered how much room there is for misunderstanding and misinterpretation between the writer and the writing instructor during feedback.  Bean advises teachers to be more mindful of the comments that they write on students papers because the worst comments can insult and even dehumanize a student.   There were many useful “takeaways” or “best feedback practices” that were clearly outlined in Bean’s article and clearly highlighted in Serken’s presentation. A key consideration is the not-so-subtle issue of power that informs teaching and learning contexts.  When one has a position of authority, it is important to recognize that significant responsibility.  Unfortunately for many teachers, in the haste to do one’s job, sometimes these truths are disregarded.  But that responsibility should remain front and center in order to maintain a mindful approach to designing an effective learning environment.

Fake News Discussion in Equity Unbound

In #unboundeq, we have been taking a closer look at the problem of fake news, and how it relates to digital media literacy.    o be able to fact check is a skill required of everyone these days, and certainly a key skill for all for students researching on the open web.  Can we tell the difference between real news and “fake” news? Long before the digital revolution, misinformation and conspiracy was a journalistic concern. If truth is “something that happens to an idea”, the status of truth has always been questionable. But ideas (whether true or not) have consequences, most notably the power to influence behaviors and belief systems.  In a political culture of post-truth in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, we have opened up a conversation about how to develop and promote critical digital literacies in a global intercultural context.  Here is the #unboundeq Studio Visit on the topic:

A great way to adopt a fact-checking and source verification strategy is to use Mike Caulfield’s “Four Moves” – explained here in a blog post entitled “Recognition is futile”.  Also, Caulfield’s Four Moves blog is a great digital literacy resource for practicing the Four Moves source verification strategy.  And if you prefer audio, here is a smart podcast interview with Mike.

For next class?

  • Please read Tutoring ESL Students:  Issues & Options by Muriel Harris and Tony Silva.  Vee will present on this article in the first part of our class time.
  • Write your eighth blog post reflecting on 1. -Vee’s chosen ESL article and 2.  -your ideas for the final project.  ****Please include in your blog a follow up on your “final project” thoughts from class and any new ideas you have regarding your collaborative final project. You can review the “Final Project” requirement description here.  The five of you will need to brainstorm, discuss, and resolve a plan for this project asap.
  • **For our second half of class, we will spend the time working out a plan and timeline for your final class project.
  • Don’t forget to tweet comments/thoughts and your blog post to the #unboundeq hashtag!

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