When students misspell a common word, what is driving the error? I analysed 35,000 Peer Feedback entries in which the student had intended to write “wrong” and found 1614 instances of misspellings – about 5% of the total.
Of the misspellings,
- 62% entered “rong”, a phonetic error
- 27% entered “worng”, a typographical error.
My own spelling changed from atrocious to moderately good overnight, when a psychologist colleague taught me the visual spelling strategy. It looks like a good proportion of these students could still benefit from the same thing. The rest just need to learn touch typing.
Sometimes kids get hold of the wrong end of the stick en masse. A great example is copyright – the right to copy. A quick sampling of students’ peer feedback statements reveals that approx. 50% of statements that mention copyright see it as some kind of a crime. Here’s a quick sampler of the 20+ most recent examples:
- It is copying someones work and is illegal and this is called copyright.
- Because copyright is an act of Continue reading
We have had a small problem recently with some students trolling the Peer Feedback system. If you are a teacher, you will know well that student empowerment can come at the cost of students being empowered to do the things they want and not the things you want.
95% of these inappropriate comments got caught by our filters and human moderators, so it wasn’t a major issue, but I felt it was time to reverse the trend. I wrote to our power users – the teachers who set the most assignments, and who therefore, statistically, must be teaching the largest number of trolls. I showed them where to check their students’ Peer Feedback statements, and asked them to address any issues they found with their own students.
I got a lot of really great responses from teachers, and even a few apology letters from students, but my favourite response came from Zahid Razzak at The British International School, Abu Dhabi. Here’s what he said
Many thanks for sending me those lists, I will certainly use this as an opportunity for a constructive lesson on how to provide feedback to others and netiquette.
That’s the way to turn a problem into an opportunity!
To check your own students’ Peer Feedback statements:
I have been experimenting this morning running Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) over students’ peer feedback responses. So far, all I’ve done is analyse the last 50,000 responses in aggregate, and only on a few dimensions. Here is what I found:
The ‘personal’ and ‘formal’ columns are comparison averages generated by the system. I assume those are from bodies of text written by adults.
What stands out to me is how much more Continue reading