ERIC Number: EJ925920
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
Peer Editing in the 21st Century College Classroom: Do Beginning Composition Students Truly Reap the Benefits?
Jesnek, Lindsey M.
Journal of College Teaching & Learning, v8 n5 p17-24 2011
Since its emergence in the 1960s, critics and instructors alike have lauded the benefits of peer collaboration in the college composition classroom, and more specifically, the value of peer editing. However, the benefits of peer editing are not necessarily realized in traditional entry level writing classes. A consultation of both quantitative and qualitative research reveals that a reverberating dissonance exists between what students (and instructors) desire from peer editing and students' actual abilities as both writers and editors. Since peer editing is inherently designed to directly benefit students and not, although perhaps it does indirectly, cater to the goals of colleagues, administrators, and universities, composition teachers must instead consult students about its effectiveness--not themselves. Teachers have long-speculated and theorized about the way collaborative learning "should be," but it remains necessary to evaluate how peer editing actually functions in the everyday freshman and sophomore level writing course. In addition to conflicts in theoretical approach, the practice of peer editing is often inhibited by several other factors: time constraints, social graces, off-task talk, and the actual ability of writer and editor, not to mention the endlessly variable ways of creating (or not creating) peer editing rubrics. While group collaboration should undoubtedly remain a part of the college composition classroom, professors must begin to consider the possibility that peer editing may, in fact, be more detrimental than previously imagined. Furthermore, critics have traditionally focused on evaluating peer editing in the much larger theoretical context of "collaborative learning," which oftentimes leaves professors with little or no direction for actually putting peer editing into practice. Since no discernible solution has immerged in over fifty years, it is time to finally dispel the illusion that peer editing guarantees better college writers.
Descriptors: Qualitative Research, Editing, Cooperative Learning, Writing Instruction, Teaching Methods, Higher Education, College Students, Writing (Composition), College Freshmen, College English, Freshman Composition, Peer Evaluation, Feedback (Response)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A