Learning From Failure: Using Collaborative Technology to Make the Feedback Loop Work

Learning From Failure: Using Collaborative Technology to Make the Feedback Loop Work

Natalie Edwards Bishop (Gardner-Webb University, USA) and Hannah Allford (Gardner-Webb University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9438-3.ch015
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Integrating the research and writing process is a stuck place for many students. Leveraging the collaborative conversation through feedback loops confronts stuck places that are critical to students mastering concepts in composition and information literacy. Instructors and librarians, in turn, are more clearly able to identify “stuck places” where students struggle with concepts and build learning experiences around those places. Implementing the collaborative conversation through Google Drive apps allows students, instructors, and librarians a platform to collaborate through shared editing and commenting. As a result, the process of providing feedback is less linear, shifting to an integrative, conversation-based experience. Google Drive affords stakeholders sufficient wait time to contextualize research, respond to feedback, and revise writing. Instructors and librarians are able to model the reflexive, iterative processes of inquiry, research, and writing alongside their students through implementation of the Research, Writing, and Feedback Integration Model.
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The concept of “stuck places” represent moments where students are challenged by conceptually difficult knowledge in the learning process. When confronted with stuck places, students wrestle with feeling “stupid” when their understanding is challenged or when “getting it” doesn’t happen quickly. As a result, students often perceive these moments as points of failure. Students frequently experience stuck places throughout the research and writing processes, with many struggling to embrace process-based forms of writing and inquiry. This failure point stunts student creativity and writing development, especially in the early moments of research and writing. Low-stakes writing and research exercises help break many systemic misconceptions about writing, specifically that good writing has no errors, important writing is high-stakes, and low-stakes writing is a waste of time (Broussard, 2017). The benefit of low-stakes research and writing is the opportunity it creates for feedback, collaboration, and revision. Low-stakes writing and informal research shifts the feedback narrative into a loop where students are pushed to engage and revise. Housing low-stakes writing and feedback loops within Google Drive apps shifts the revisioning process into an informal, fluid space that still maintains the functionality of traditional word processors. This chapter explores the implementation of the Research, Writing, & Feedback Implementation Model in low-stakes writing using Google Drive in composition and information literacy instruction and describes how a composition instructor and librarian collaborate by utilizing Google Drive apps to facilitate student growth in stuck places through feedback-based, low-stakes research and writing activities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Google Drive: A file storage and collaboration space launched by Google in 2012. Google Drive apps include Docs, Sheets, and Slides which offer users collaborative sharing, editing, and storage.

Source Literacy: A contextualized understanding of the characteristics for different types of sources; and the ability to integrate different types of sources into a written narrative.

Process Writing: An approach to teaching composition that emphasizes writing as a series of recursive steps, often including brainstorming, planning, drafting, revisioning, and editing.

Liminal Space: A transformative stage in the learning process in which the learner begins to reframe or experience a shift in their understanding of a subject.

Composition: The teaching practices and values of writing in the postsecondary classroom, often included in the general education requirements of most college and university first-year students. Composition courses usually involve discussions about and practice in critical thinking, reading, and writing skills; rhetoric; research; and incorporation of sources as support.

Feedback Loops: A formative process where instructors provide students with specific, questioning, and instructive feedback with time for the student to reflect, edit, and practice. As trends in feedback become evident, instructors can leverage the feedback process to modify and strengthen assessment.

Postsecondary Pedagogy: Teaching practices, beliefs, and values in the classroom beyond the secondary education level; usually associated with college, university, or vocational teaching.

WPA Framework: A set of rhetorical and twenty-first-century concepts, skills, and habits of mind that are critical for college success and founded on current pedagogy in research and writing. The WPA Framework is endorsed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project.

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