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Peer workshop procedures

Pamela Flash

Giving students explicit procedures to follow during peer workshop sessions can keep groups focused and self-regulating. For sessions that are intended to extend for more than a few minutes, consider projecting instructions on an overhead so that students can refer to it throughout the class period without instructor monitoring. Here are three variations on the peer workshop procedure:

PEER WORKSHOP PROCEDURE #1

  1. Appoint a time-keeper who then slices time evenly among members.
  2. Writer talks: target concerns, questions, revisions (no apologies).
  3. Group members discuss the work: based on their pre-class reading, talking from drafts & guidelines. Stay large-picture (that means no comments on surface issues like typos, grammar).
  4. The writer remains silent and takes notes on the discussion, and refrains from answering or asking questions at this stage.
  5. Writer recaps/recounts & asks questions
  6. If time remains, writer chooses to troubleshoot specific problems or hear peer read section aloud.
  7. After all drafts have been discussed, members hand over marked drafts (make sure names are noted).

Each member of the peer group devises a revision action plan (to be turned in w/2nd draft).

PEER WORKSHOP PROCEDURE #2

  1. Appoint a time-keeper who then slices time evenly among members.
  2. Writer distributes draft and targets concerns, questions, revisions (no apologies).
  3. Writer reads work aloud, or asks a peer group member to do so. Group members make notes on their drafts.
  4. Group members discuss the work with the writer: talk from drafts & guidelines. Stay large-picture (that means no comments on surface issues like typos, grammar).
  5. Writer recaps.
  6. Next writer distributes drafts.

PEER WORKSHOP PROCEDURE #3

  1. In pairs or groups, writers rotate drafts.
  2. Peers read, making comments and handing the draft on.
  3. Once all drafts have been read, start peer workshop procedure #1 or #2.