Rebooting Revision: Leveraging Technology to Deliver Formative and Summative Feedback

Rebooting Revision: Leveraging Technology to Deliver Formative and Summative Feedback

Sarah-Beth Hopton
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4341-3.ch010
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In the past decade, digital feedback tools to review and revise student writing have proliferated. Scholarship in rhetoric, composition, and professional writing has yet to consider how digital feedback systems might offer a promising alternative to traditional and arguably broken feedback practices. This chapter offers a review of the latest scholarship on the digital feedback and revision practices of students and professors, and demonstrates the use of a heuristic customized to college writing applications and programs, which can help professors review and assess new digital tools used to manage an electronic feedback and assessment protocol.
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2. Defining The Digital Feedback Protocol

Advancements in technology and the rise of the “app”—short for an application built to optimally function on digital devices—affords English professors an array of tools to call upon to assess the writings of their students. However, today, writing is much different from what it was when many of our professors were in college. Now, most college papers are written on a computer, not paper; essays are now turned in via e-mail, not attached by paperclips and plopped down on a desk at the beginning of class; peer reviews are managed using collaborative digital technology like MyReviewers, not in small groups; and conversations between professors and students are increasingly conducted via voice-over-Internet-protocols like SKYPE, not the old twentieth century mode of the telephone. Moreover, because technology is affordable and easily accessible to most, devices like Apples’s iPad have changed how we access textbooks and how English departments across this nation are experimenting with knowledge transfer and adaptive learning technology. Indeed, even the very idea of what constitutes text has changed. Concerning textbooks specifically, in the past textbooks were bound objects of static information complimented by two-dimensional images, but today’s digital textbooks are haptically responsive, multi-modal, and to an increasing degree customizable. Professors can use technology, when soundly selected and cleverly employed, to better assess the writing abilities of, and promote good revision practices among, their students. But what is a digital feedback protocol? And how do English professors manage such protocols amid a constantly shifting backdrop of new technologies?

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