The iLearn workshop module used here incorporates several phases, through which students prepare their writing, submit their writing, provide and receive peer feedback and assessment based on the rubric, then access their peer and teacher feedback.
Mr. Apple began the exercise with guided pre-writing. Early in the week, he provided a structured writing outline that students used to gather their thoughts and begin their pre-writing. Students were also given the rubric by which their work would later be assessed.
The next day, students used laptops to compose their polished writing sample, with the choice of using Google Docs or the text editor on iLearn. Students had the entire 24-hour period in which to compose and self-edit their writing.
Peer-Assessment and Feedback
The third day of the activity, students began to review and assess the writing samples of their peers through the Workshop module. Mr. Apple guided students in the use and interpretation of the rubric during this time, providing examples of student work to display how the rubric was to be used.
After the peer-assessment phase ended, students were able to view peer and teacher feedback on their work, viewing the rubric as completed by each of their peer reviewers, as well as comments and suggestions left by their peers to improve their writing.
During the writing exercise, Mr. Apple and I spent time reflecting on the assignment, student progress, and next steps. As a result of this reflection, Mr. Apple made the instructional decision to provide further steps for students, which included further editing their writing and producing yet another, further refined writing sample. Students will proceed with a second workshop activity with a Workshop module.
Mr. Apple’s reflection did not end there, however. During the student peer-assessment phase, he began to critically analyze his rubric, noting that several changes needed to be made in order to reflect some of the things he was seeing in student writing. This led to Mr. Apple’s subsequent tweaking of the rubric in order to better meet the needs of the students in giving and receiving feedback. The edited rubric will now be a part of the next workshop activity in which students will participate.