What Are Some Alternative Feedback Models
What Are Some Alternative Feedback Models?
In her essay, “Building Bridges to Academic Discourse: The Peer Group Leader in Basic
Writing Peer Response Groups,” Laurie Grobman acknowledges many of the problems that basic writers face while giving each other feedback in peer response groups. Among the reasons she cites include a lack of confidence in their roles as experts and a lack of experience giving feedback which make them reluctant, ineffective peer responders (Grobman 47–49). To provide her students with the support they needed to become better peer responders, she created the Peer Group Model.
Penn State’s Peer Group Leader Model
Grobman selected one of her former basic writing students who had been successful in first year composition to join her classroom peer response groups and provide a model for giving feedback while also playing the role of the facilitator. She writes in her article that the peer group leader serves as a bridge between basic writers and the academy, a person whose presence can be an affirmation for basic writers as academics.
Benefits of this model:
Muriel Harris’s article, “Collaboration Is Not Collaboration Is Not Collaboration: Writing Center Tutorials vs. Peer-Response Groups” addresses many of the necessary and intrinsic differences between peer response and writing center tutorials. Peer response, she argues, is limited because while responders often identify problems within a text, they do not often ask questions or explain to the writer the various problems that they find (Harris 373). The
writing center tutor, she argues, is neither teacher nor peer, and out of the peer response context, is able to respond to a writer, rather than to the writing (374). Unlike the peer responder, the writing center tutor is free to focus upon whatever individualized need the writer seems to have, and can tailor their session (or a sequence of sessions) to help the writer become more effective (North 439). The Boise State University Writing Center created a model that utilized the writing center tutor in the basic writing classroom while maintaining the benefits of peer response in the classroom.
Boise State’s Writing Mentor Program
Originally named the Writing Fellyns Program, the Boise State Writing Center’s Writing Mentor program began in fall of 2008 as an answer to Muriel Harris’s concerns about the limits of peer response in the writing classroom. The Mentor program was designed to bring the trained consultants (the preferred term for Harris’s ‘tutors’) of the writing center into the basic writing classroom, pairing one consultant with a basic writing class for an entire semester. That consultant would attend roughly ten to fifteen classes, creating both a sense of rapport with the students and familiarizing themselves with the course material and instructor expectations. In addition, Mentors meet with each basic writing student twice over the course of the semester, often conducting one brainstorming session, and one session later in the writing process.
Benefits of this model: