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Giving feedback on written work in a digital environment

Giving feedback on written work in a digital environment
Antonia, thanks very much for sending me through your essay. I’m going to give you some feedback on it now. So firstly, the introduction, then. I think this is well-structured. So you start off with a general statement about the topic. You then go on to talk more specifically about the area of the topic that you’re going to talk about in your essay. And you finish by making a very clear statement about what the essay is going to include. So this makes your introduction really clear. And it’s also an improvement on the way you’ve structured introductions in the past, so well done on that.
In terms of your main body paragraphs, you do present two points of view, one point here and the second here. And these paragraphs are also well structured. So you start off with your topic sentence here and here, to introduce the topic, great. And then you have your supporting points here. And then you finish with a concluding sentence, which kind of states why you think that governments should pay for cultural funding. Now your supporting ideas are quite short and it does make the paragraphs quite short. And really, at this stage, you need to be expanding those main ideas more. So those main body paragraphs more, I should say.
So think about adding one or two more reasons to support the argument, may be an example. And that will help you to expand both of these paragraphs a little bit more. Your conclusion is fine. It summarises the main points, OK, it paraphrases. But just be careful here, where you are giving your opinion. You’re not quite answering the question. So you say that you believe governments are in the position to assure free cultural events, which is true. But do you actually think that it is their responsibility, which is here in the question. So make sure you do answer the question when you are stating your opinion. OK, let’s look at some of the language then.
Just be careful that your subject and verb do actually match. So here you’ve got believe, people believe, not believes, because obviously people is plural. And the same here, you’ve got a plural noun so you need plural determinant with these.
I think the word you mean here is perspective. And we talk about in the conclusion.
Here you used to fund as the subject of the sentence, but actually, when a verb is a subject, we would use the gerund. Here you’ve used the word exposition. I think this is probably a false friend in your language, because in English, we would say exhibition.
Oh here, I’ve just noticed here, because everybody learns about history. So again, make sure that the conjugation is correct between the subject and the verb. To introduce your conclusion, it’s better to use in conclusion or to conclude.
And while there’s nothing wrong here with get less money, the grammar of the vocabulary is correct, you might want to start thinking about using higher level vocabulary and more academic, more formal vocabulary. For example, received lower levels of funding. This just sounds more appropriate for an essay. So to summarise then, the strengths of your essay are that you structured it very well, four very clear paragraphs. The introduction is well-structured and very clear. The reader understands exactly what you’re going to talk about.
The main body paragraphs are structured well and the conclusion is fine. But things to work on, number one, in your conclusion, if you’re going to state your personal view, make sure you answer the question. Number two, try to expand your main body paragraphs by adding more reasons or examples. And number three, start thinking about using more formal language. And one thing you can do is to look at page 66 in the course book, because that has some examples of more formal verbs and nouns that we might use in essays. So use that to help you. And we’ll do more on that during the course as well. So lots of strengths there, and clear improvement, well done.
If you have any questions about my feedback, do ask in the next lesson.

There are several digital tools that allow online teachers to provide useful feedback to learners on their written work. Teachers can provide feedback orally in a lesson, or you might prefer learners to receive and digest their feedback via email or a shared link outside the lesson.

Task 1

Watch the video which shows a screencast of Lindsay providing oral feedback when marking a piece of written work produced by her learner. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this format, for both the learner and the teacher?

Note that a good tool for such feedback is Screencast-o-matic. It allows you to create the video, save it in the cloud and share a link to it with your student.

Task 2

Now look at three other ways of giving feedback on written work. Click on the links in the table and then complete the table with the strengths and weaknesses of each feedback type.

Tool Strengths Weaknesses
Review tools in a wordprocessing document, i.e. track changes and comments    
A shared document, e.g. Google Docs    
Interactive whiteboard    
Please note down your answers on a piece of paper

Check your answers.

Reflect and share

Which of the tools above would you like to explore further? Why? Share your ideas in the comments.

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Teaching English Online

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