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Directive or facilitative feedback: a scale

In this step, you find some solutions for the previous assignment. However, there is no single right solution for the assignment.

One and the same comment can for example be perceived as more directive or as a suggestion (towards a more facilitative perspective). It depends on the context in which the comment is given, on the phase in the writing process, and on the disposition of the writer. Always try to adjust the focus and style of your feedback to the student’s specific situation.

When we try to place the comments on a scale from more directive to more facilitative, this is what the scale might look like. Compare your own solution with the one below. Please share your remarks in the discussion section.

Directive comments with a focus on what is wrong and on (formal) text characteristics & no hints or suggestions for improvement

nr. 5: Rewrite this sentence.

nr. 7: Wordy

nr. 9:The title doesn’t cover the subject of the proposal.

Directive comments: controling, with a dictated (but also clear?) path for revision

nr. 1: Use another verb.

nr. 4: Elaborate on the relevance of this study and write a separate paragraph on the methodology, with a more thought-out motivation.

nr. 10: Present your choices from a less personal and more objective and professional perspective.

nr. 15: Focus each paragraph on one central idea.

More facilitative comments with some support / advice / direction / questions for the writer, oriented to development and creating awareness, non-evaluative, encouraging positive motivation

nr. 2: See blackboard for some examples of research proposals. Focus on the style and vocabulary: can you figure out what choices the authors have made in order to create a professional, objective style?

nr. 3: Tip: when you read scholarly texts for your study, you could make a list of discipline-specific words and research-related verbs that are used in these text. This can help you to become more familiar with an academic style of writing.

nr. 6: Good choice of sources.

nr. 14: It’s OK not to worry about correctness or nice sentences on a first draft; but keep in mind that you will need to get this right for the final draft.

nr. 16: Peter, I think you have done quite some preliminary work and gathered good material to build on for future drafts. Now, think of ways to fine tune your message and to communicate this in a well-structured and convincing way to the reader. The questions and suggestions above may help you with that. Another suggestion is to ask one of your peer students to read your next version critically. You can use his/her reader reactions to refine your text. Good luck!

Facilitative comments: specific, reader-based, reflective questions, with a focus on content and organisation, and on development and awareness.

nr. 8. The connection between the first and second paragraph is not really clear to me. Can you elaborate a bit more on the social and individual aspects of writing and relate those to the methodological approaches you present? Or: how relevant is it to go into those aspects in the light of your research question?

nr. 11: Why should interviews and the other methods you mention be labeled as ethnographic? And why are they relevant methods to explore the kind of issues you want to explore?

nr. 12: It took quite some time before I figured out what the focus of this introduction (and of your proposal) is. Can you think of a way to present that focus earlier in the text?

nr. 13: As I understand it, your focus is on: writing for social media, specifically for a webcare-service as a specific form of writing in a specific context? And on writers’ experiences and requirements for this specific type of writing?

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Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring

University of Groningen

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