Students were engaged in active reflection on their academic writing through the completion of a series of exercises targeting specific writing skills. These exercises were facilitated in ‘the cloud’, which enabled teaching staff to provide ‘margin’ comments, in-line comments/mark-up and global feedback that students could act on and respond to. In response to this feedback students were invited to create second drafts of their writing, acting on the online comments from the instructor but also feedback received from the class sessions. This blend of on-line and face-to-face interaction enabled staff to identify and tackle emergent problem areas for students as the course progressed – refining the pedagogic design of the course and offering targeted lectures on writing skills at point of need.
The course was delivered to a second cohort, with the feedback exchanges helping to inform the refinement of the teaching approach with instructional support explicitly linked to key areas of grammar, writing and oral skills. A mixed methods research approach has been used to evaluate the impact of the initial and revised pedagogic design on student engagement and learning, based on end-of-module surveys and semi-structured focus groups with students and teaching staff.
The paper offers a transferable pedagogic framework for the development of academic writing based on the engagement of students as active learners and partners in the course design process. We will discuss how the dialogical pedagogic design may be transferred to other disciplines or other institutions. We will also comment on appropriate online tools to support an effective feedback dialogue between instructors and students and cover lessons learned in supporting both student and staff workflows.
Laurillard, D. (2002). Rethinking University Teaching. A conversational framework for the effective use of learning technologies. London: Routledge ISBN 0415256798 .