Assessment for learning – connecting the professional experience of peer review with in-class peer review towards writing transfer
Scholarly peer review, for academic staff engaged in writing for publication, is a prominent feature of the ‘assessment for learning’ that exists in the portfolio of CPD opportunities for staff. Scholarly peer review is essential for most academic staff and, frequently, it may represent one of their only opportunities to gain feedback on their writing. As part of assessment for learning, peer review can have similar benefits for students. However, staff rarely share their experiences of peer review amongst themselves, or indeed with their students.
As noted in the Elon Statement on Writing Transfer (2013), writing transfer ‘is the phenomenon in which new and unfamiliar writing tasks are approached through the application, remixing or integration of previous knowledge, skills, strategies, and dispositions’. As is also remarked, ‘Any social context provides affordances and constraints that impact use of prior knowledge, skills, strategies, and dispositions, and writing transfer successes and challenges cannot be understood outside of learners’ social-cultural spaces’.
In this seminar, participants will have the opportunity to explore assessment for learning by examining their experiences of the peer review process and by making connections between these experiences and peer review for their students. As part of this exploration, participants will consider writing transfer and how it is informed by the social intervention of feedback from peers, as part of a writing community. In this manner, participants will be challenged to identify what elements of writing transfer are contributing to their and their students’ writing processes and how might they be augmented.
Following this seminar, participants will be able to
• describe various approaches to in-class peer review of student writing, as part of peer assessment for learning, towards writing transfer;
• place their experience of scholarly peer review in context through the sharing of professional experiences of peer review of academic writing;
• make useful connections, aligned with the principles of writing transfer, that help staff to apply learning from scholarly peer review to their teaching (as part of research-informed practice) and to approaches to student peer review;
• consider the value of the social context and learning community, as it contributes to assessment and writing transfer, in peer review;
• suggest ways in which the ongoing experience of scholarly peer review could be captured and shared, and could continue to enhance approaches to in-class student peer review processes.
All staff engaged in scholarship and supporting student writers
Format: Participatory seminar