Friday, February 19, 2010

What Kids Think about Sharing their Writing

This week I had my students share their writing assignments with each other over the Internet. Our purpose was to improve the quality of our writing through peer editing. I created a document library on our SharePoint website for the class, and taught the kids how to check documents in and out of the website. This is not unlike what the teachers at our school do for our report cards. Here is the result of a survey I asked the kids to take. It was an anonymous survey, and 39 of 57 students answered:

The results may be a bit hard to see, but if you enlarge the image you can read the results of the 3 questions I asked the kids.

97% of the students in my class who responded to a short survey feel that using a SharePoint document library to share their work for peer editing improved the quality of their own written work.

About half of them feel it improved the length of their written work.

97% of them feel that they had something to offer their peers in the form of editing advice that would make a measureable improvement in their work “some of the time” to “almost all of the time.”

I also felt that interest was high during the days we were editing each others' work, and that behaviour problems were virtually non-existent. I feel that the students were interested and engaged in their work.

When I showed these results to one class' homeroom teacher, she said "Ok, but now where do we get a class set of computers for my class?" While I admit we don't have the class of computers on wheels, I think we know that kids enjoy and benefit from peer editing, and that perhaps other classes will book our second computer lab 1 period a day, for a week. Perhaps a teacher will assign it as a homework project. Like that old baseball movie says "If you build it, they will come."


Brian Kuhn said...

Nice way to use sharepoint to support peer editing and assessing student's perspective on it. I think the answer to a teacher wondering where the class computers are is two fold... PODs (personally owned devices) and homework. Why not?

Anonymous said...

Peer editing or even peer assessment of any kind is usually a fantastic way to get students to think about their work and ways to improve it. I begin peer assessment in their first year of school, obviously a simpler version.