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Video-Recorded Collective Reviews. A Powerful Tool to Teach and Investigate the Process of Teaching and Learning to Write in a New Genre
Carlino, Paula.
2023 College Composition and Communication Conference. National Council of Teachers of English, Chicago, 2023.
PROPOSAL ANNOTATION. (SEE EXTENDED ABSTRACT BELLOW) Collective reviews help students gradually learn to revise and respond to peers´ drafts while learning to write in a new genre. In this presentation, I will show how video-recorded collective reviews can serve not only as a pedagogical tool but also as a revelatory research tool to investigate the process of learning new genres, such as the thesis proposal in an Argentine master´s writing workshop. /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// . . . The paper was honored with the "2023 Luiz Antonio Marcuschi Travel Award" . . . ////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// EXTENDED ABSTRACT. This presentation will share the speaker´s experience with collective reviews (CR). It will illustrate how CR (i.e., shared reviews of a text in progress in which the students and the instructor take part) amplify their potential as pedagogical tools if they are video-recorded and, at the same time, become privileged research data to investigate the teaching and learning of new genres. . Collective reviews are extremely unusual in Argentine education as well as peer reviews. When I first proposed peer reviews in graduate writing workshops two decades ago, students felt insecure in making relevant comments on a classmate´s drafts as well as distrustful of the comments received from peers (Carlino, 2008). Inspired by writing groups (Gere, 1987), thesis writing circles (Aitchison, 2003; Caffarella & Barnett, 2000), and Latin American teaching innovations (Lerner, 2001), I began to conduct CR and also encouraged peer reviews as part of self-managed groups (Carlino, 2012). . In collective reviews, the instructor gives some initial hints on how to proceed and offers her feedback on the draft after the students have given theirs. Through CR students gradually learn to revise and respond to peers´ drafts while learning to write in new contexts. The interplay between the teacher´s subtle regulation throughout the review process, her reticence to share her viewpoint at the beginning to allow the students´ knowledge to unfold, and her feedback at the end, proves very enriching. . During the covid-19 pandemic, I taught a 3-semester thesis proposal writing workshop in the Master´s in Teacher Education at the Universidad Pedagógica Nacional (Argentina). In each of the 15 monthly lessons on the Zoom platform, online CR reviews were developed and automatically recorded on video. This fortuitous circumstance opened new teaching and research opportunities. . From a pedagogical point of view, students were able to revisit the lessons and come back to the comments that had been made on their drafts or on those of their classmates. Besides, they were assigned the task of writing down the main points of the collective reviews. To this end, they had to abstract the criteria underlying the comments made on an individual draft, so that they would serve as general criteria for the revision or rewriting of similar texts. This activity was carried out in groups that used the video recordings of the lessons to clarify or recall specific aspects of the CR. . Furthermore, the video recording of the lessons helped the teacher to reflect on her classes: to better understand students´ needs, to become aware of her appropriate or untimely interventions, to think about developing or changing an instructional strategy, etc. . From a research point of view, the analysis of the CR made it possible to characterize the interactions between students and teachers: the teacher´s interventions that proved most fruitful, salient patterns of the dialogue, the time students needed to develop relevant revision criteria, etc. - - - Moreover, within the framework of Rhetorical Genre Studies, I examined the gathered material to find out what specialized cognitive practices these master´s students start developing when they engage in writing their thesis proposals (Carlino, in press). The video recordings of the CR allowed me access to the students´ intellectual work at play (Gere and Abbott, 1985: 378), to "the reasoning the writer used to produce" their drafts (Bazerman, 2017: 25). Also, the recordings showed how the instructor intervened systematically to help raise awareness of the core features of the thesis proposal as a genre, and the activity system it represents (Russell, 1997). Additionally, since the workshop spanned 3 semesters, I have now invaluable data to longitudinally analyze the development of students´ genre knowledge. The presentation will invite attendees to examine some transcripts of collective reviews that illustrate their pedagogical and investigative potential.
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