Email from Vance to R.A. Simpson

Vol. 3. No. 1 — November 1997

To: R.A.Simpson@sheffield.ac.uk, TESLCA-L@cunyvm
Subject: Re: re e-mail corrections

From: Vance Stevens

In a message dated 96-03-20 04:24:09 EST, R.A.Simpson@SHEFFIELD.AC.UK (Richard Simpson) writes regarding the thread on correcting writing submitted by e-mail. My reply …

I found a way of dealing with this problem while teaching in Oman. You simply write a number next to the error (can be done on hard or soft copy). The number refers to an elaborated explanation on a separate sheet of paper or in a corrections file somewhere.

In other words, you mark one student’s paper by making a notes on his/her paper that refer to explanations which you compile on a separate listing, after which you might have ten or twenty notes for that student to refer to. When you mark the next paper, you might find that ten of the same mistakes recur, but you’ll add a few notes. Eventually, you’ll reach the point where you can deal with all papers by just writing numbers and letting the students figure out from your reference sheet what their errors are as per the information in your numbered explanations.

I find several advantages to this approach: it’s a fast and economical way of communicating to students what you want them to know about their errors; it makes the students think, since they have to figure out what the error is vs. your numbered explanation; and after a while you have a catalog of what the errors are for your student population, hence the basis for doing some research.

This is similar to the suggestion that errors be hypertext linked to explanations kept elsewhere, but the above system can be done at any technological level, even with numbered marks on paper refering to a handout listing all the numbered corrections.

Hope this helps …

V A N C E S T E V E N S Courseware Publishing International, 20380 Town Center Lane, Suite 169 Cupertino, CA 95014 – USA


Back to The Paperless Classroom?