Providing Meaningful Feedback to Peers
When critiquing a peer's work, it is key to remember the purpose of what you are doing, and that is, improving, revising, and editing your peer's work. The ultimate goal in peer editing is to provide meaningful feedback. When I am editing my peer's blog post, I continuously question myself, "How would I feel if my peer was critiquing my work this way?"
The Most Important Part: Positive Feedback
The most important part of peer editing is to be positive. Giving my fellow peers positive feedback gives them a sense of confidence and accomplishment even if portions of his or her work are poorly written. When I comment on a peer's blog post, I start the comment by sharing my favorite parts of his or her post. I then add to the comment what portions of the post I agree with and in detail explain why. Positive feedback is a great way to reinforce what the writer did well.
Suggestions to peers on blog posts should be left in a comment and in a positive manner. If there is a problem with my peer's blog post that I have also encountered when writing my own blog posts, such as links not working, I comment on the post telling my peer about my encounter with the same or similar problem, and then provide them with the easiest way to correct the issue. When editing my peer's blog post assignments, if needed, it is important to suggest the writer go into greater detail if the topic of the assignment is unclear. This type of critique would be appropriate to leave in the form of a comment on my peer's blog post.
When peer editing, I struggle most with trying not to offend or embarrass my peer when correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure mistakes. When I am peer editing, I have to be sure that I am not exhibiting some of the peer editing skills that the students in the video Peer Critique Mistakes exhibit. When peer editing, correcting mistakes is vital. When I peer edit, I feel comfortable leaving my peer a comment giving corrections if he or she has one, two, or three grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure mistakes. If my peer has several areas of their blog post that are poorly written that include grammatical, spelling, punctuation, or sentence structure mistakes, I feel it is appropriate to privately email my peer about the mistakes rather than leaving the corrections in a comment on the post. The last thing I want to do is embarrass my peer when I give them corrections, so I would prefer emailing them privately rather than posting the corrections in a comment for the entire world to see. When providing my peer with corrections, I find it is vital to do it in a positive manner. Instead of giving a list to my peer of all the things he or she did incorrectly, it is important to state what is incorrect and provide how to correct the mistakes.
When peer editing, deciding whether it is appropriate to comment on a peers post leaving suggestions and corrections or privately emailing my peer will prepare me for my future as a teacher in the elementary classroom. As a future educator, I will encounter situations daily that will force me to make decisions in the most appropriate way possible. Many of these decisions will be pure judgement calls on my behalf, and I need to prepare myself now that some of my "judgement calls" will be trial and error, especially my first few years teaching. These trial and error periods will be a constant learning experience for me as a teacher and through these trial and error periods I will learn how to assess my students and make decisions in the most appropriate ways possible.