Students enrolled in Dr. Julie Reynolds’ Writing in Biology (Bio299), are writing honors theses. To graduate with distinctions in biology, they need signatures from three additional readers: their research supervisor, their faculty reader, and the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Therefore, the work produced is more public than most college courses. Student often get conflicting feedback and feel torn between competing authorities. One way to address this dilemma is to make the feedback that the students receive visible to all parties, and to encourage students to explain their writing choices in response to that feedback. Dr. Reynolds used Voicethread to make readers comments and students writing choices visible.
In this course, Dr. Reynolds also used Jing to see if it is an efficient and effective approach to communicating both faculty and peer feedback. Here’s an example of a student commenting on another student’s project:
The third part of this project used video to help students gain a better understanding of how scientists read scientific papers. Students interviewed their faculty and recorded these interviews using FlipVideo. The videos were shown in class so students could see the range of expectations that readers have when they read scientific papers. Here’s an example: