This coming week, my senior seminar students will turn in their essay drafts (to our course management system, in the discussion area, where they're grouped into small groups), and then the next class session, they'll do peer revision.
So, taking Earnest English's suggestion, we spent a little time today reflecting on (in writing) and then talking about what made peer revision effective for them, and what made it ineffective.
My students suggested that really reading the draft carefully was vital. yes.
Another suggested that they worry less about hurting feelings and more about giving real, honest criticism and feedback. yes.
Another suggested that they give feedback in terms of questions, rather than directions. (So more, a "I'm not sure what you're trying to get at here, can you explain it in different words?" than a "do this" sort of response.) yes.
And one suggested that real, full drafts were much better to work with as revisers. YES!
And we talked about problems, which mostly came down to people not reading carefully, or focusing on grammar rather than bigger picture stuffs.
I've asked them to give their peers one or two things to think about when they submit their drafts, so that they'll get the most helpful response possible.
What do you do to help your students have a better peer revision experience?