Feedback for Adolescent Writers in the English Classroom
Exploring Pen-and-Paper, Electronic, and Automated Options
Keywords:Secondary Feedback, Automated Evaluation, Revising
This study examined the impact of different forms of feedback on the writing of a group of 82 adolescent students in secondary English classes. During a 6-week intervention, students were randomly assigned to one of three feedback groups: peer feedback on pen-and-paper drafts, teacher feedback delivered electronically through a course management system, and automated feedback generated through computer-based writing evaluation software. Pre- and post-measures of student writing quality, length, and correctness were analyzed, and survey data explored student perceptions of their experiences. Findings indicate that all students, regardless of which form of feedback they received, wrote longer essays and scored higher on holistic ratings at post test than they did at pretest. Neither language status nor group assignment had a greater or lesser impact on performance on length or holistic quality. However, differences between feedback groups spiked on the proximal measure that examined mastery of particular aspects of the genre being taught. Both peer feedback and teacher feedback delivered electronically had a statistically significant impact on student performance in the genre of open-ended response. The article concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for future research and instruction in the secondary context.
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