|Scenario 1||Scenario 2|
Julia is a professor of journalism in the BA “Mass Media and Communication” of her university. She has to build up a collaborative peer evaluation activity in order to develop the writing, reading and “regard critique” competences of her students. She explained her students that they will have to make a journal every two weeks: playing sometimes the role of a journalist writing an article and sometimes being a member of the editor board reviewing the incoming articles.
At the beginning, Julia organises a first step of the activity. She split her class in groups of 5-6 students who use a wiki (using a hidden group parameter) to build a list of criteria for structuring an evaluation grid of newspaper articles. In the group 4, David and Antonella had the idea to analyse a few articles on the same event (the bank crisis in Cyprus). They downloaded the articles on the Moodle platform and all the members of the group read them. During their reading, and comparison of the articles, they wrote down in the wiki the words and expressions saying what was making for them a good article. Julia told them and many students of the other groups : “You could make two parts in your list: 1) criteria concerning the article form and 2) other ones about the article content”. The week after, all the students came with their lists to the course and a discussion was launched to establish a common evaluative grid. For the form, it was containing for example : vocabulary clarity, length, etc. For the content: richness of the examples, informative level, etc.
Then Julia opened a workshop(1) in her Moodle course. She inserted the evaluation grid, previously defined by her students. A discussion with the students also established that it was more time and effort to write an article (4’000 characters, documentation and writing) than to read and criticize one. On this basis a rule was defined: over the semester, every student has to write 2 articles (about actuality event) and to evaluate 5. Julia could then use this rule as an automatic set up in the workshop function of Moodle to distribute the students according to the two roles: redactor and editor. Moodle also helped her to let easily understand when the activity was in a writing week or in a reading one.
Stephan was first surprised when he began the reading of the first article he had to review. He was little doubtful about what he would learn from this activity. But he played the role and proposed a new version for a long sentence he was not finding clear. Carola appreciated a lot the different new ideas she received from the evaluators of her second article. She learned a lot about the need for a precise vocabulary and about the different ways to make a text informative.
All the students were very interested also by the results of the process. Every three weeks, there was the publishing of the class newspaper with the top 5 articles. And this third week was also the occasion for a general feedback of Julia who was using extracts of articles and examples of critics to improve both the writing and the reviewing.
(1) The workshop function of Moodle allows a teacher to organize a learning activity where the students have two roles: producers of content and evaluator of content. The function facilitates also the different steps of the activity. First, all the students prepare and can give back a document on a thematic (or to present orally the thematic) and download their document to the workshop space. Second, the students turn to their evaluator role. The workshop function has attributed to each student a given number of documents to evaluate according to a predefined evaluation grid. All the evaluations are assembled in a table. Then in a third step, the evaluation work can be evaluated. At the end of the workshop activity, a global mark is calculated for each student. It is based on two marks: the students receive a mark for his own document (average mark of the evaluations made by his colleagues) and he receives also a mark for his evaluation work. The two marks can be balanced with different weights.
Johanna has left her university five years ago, just after she finished her Master degree in history. She is now applying for a position of assistant redactor in a human sciences scientific review and she needs a certification of competence for scientific writing skills. She is sending therefore an email to Helena, one of her professors during her studies. And Johanna inserts in her mail a password for her private page in the university directory service. This service is storing all the different works that the students did during their studies at university. With this password Helena is allowed to access temporary Johanna’s private information.
A couple of days after Johanna’s mail, Helena answers she agrees to send a certification and says she will send it very soon. When she received the mail, Helena did not remember Johanna immediately. In fact she hesitated between two students named Johanna, who finished their diploma in the same semester. When she connected to the university directory service and typed the name of Johanna, she first saw a list of the courses followed by Johanna and the years when she had these courses. She was able to see this information because she is a teacher responsible for a few courses in this curriculum. On this page, there were also the titles of the BA and MA works of Johanna. From this time, Helena was not hesitating anymore between the two Johannas. And when she clicked on the button “access page”, and typed the password sent by Johanna, she was 200% sure because she was then accessing the private page of Johanna, with a nice portrait of her at the top.
From this page, Helena could also access to three written works that were done by Johanna for different courses given by Helena. These online documents are containing feedbacks made by the professor about 6 or 7 years ago. She then could precisely remember about the fact that this student was a very good writer. Helena decided to mention in the certification letter one example of feedback: “You make in this text a very clear and well documented synthesis of the chosen thematic”. Because of her login, as a teacher implied in this curriculum, Helena had also access to appreciations of other professors on other written works of Johanna. These further feedbacks confirmed Helena she could write Johanna a certification for scientific writing skills.