1. Peer and Community
Review and Feedback
In addition to the various strategies for assessing project-based learning, the Internet and
the Web give you new assessment strategies which will also motivate your students to
achieve higher standards of excellence in their work.
These strategies rely on the availability of people out in the
"real world" to communicate with your students and to convey approval,
suggestions for improvement, constructive criticism, and to share their own insights and
experiences related to the project.
It is the "real world" aspects of this discourse that makes it
so effective... not as a grading tool for you but as a gauge for your students to measure
"how they are doing" in real-world kinds of communications tasks. When their
work is reviewed and evaluated by their remote peers and other members of their audience,
they will appreciate and understand how standards are established and
"enforced." They will understand the importance and context of skills
development. And they will be more inclined to edit, revise, and improve their work, which will in turn provide many
teachable moments and opportunities to develop the skills they must learn.
Your job is to use this environment to best advantage by having students
solicit and structure appropriate feedback and review from your target audience.
We're often asked, "How correct should our Web pages be before we publish them?"
The best way to look at this problem is to consider that, like good writing, good Web
publishing is a process that should go through several iterations of writing, review,
feedback and revision.
As part of this process, therefore, have other students, teachers and
parents review your pages before you publish them publicly on the Web. You can do this in
several different or complimentary ways:
- Put your developing Web pages on one of your classroom or lab servers and
invite other students, teachers, administrators and parents to drop in to review them.
- Put your developing Web pages on your local school network Web server and
invite others to review them.
- Put them on your district network Web server and invite teachers
and students in other schools review them.
- Put them on a live Internet Web server but don't broadcast the actual
URL. Instead, treat the work as a "private" Web site, and invite other members
of the community to review them for you... parents and other relatives, friends, business
people you know. Identify members of your target audience and contact some of them to
review your work.
When you ask others to review your work, give them a copy of your
project goals and objectives, along with several questions that students would like
reviewers to address, so that they can provide specific feedback on whether you've
achieved your goals.
Feedback Via Electronic Mail
Since most informal feedback your students receive will come via email, it is important to
have a plan for handling this digital dialog.
Ideally, every student, or team of students, would have access to their
own email account (depending on your school policy
regarding email accounts) to read and respond to correspondence generated by their Web
site. Many schools are turning to some of the free email-hosting services
for student email accounts, some of which are designed for students.
At the minimum, you should be prepared to pass email communications back
and forth through your own email account on a timely basis to promote this informal kind
Don't forget to coach your students, especially young ones, to observe
appropriate Internet safety precautions.
Structuring Informal feedback
At the simplest level, review and feedback can consist of a request for your Web readers
to submit their informal comments, questions, and reactions to the Web authors. Because of
the personal nature of many of these kinds of interactions they can be very useful in
getting your students to think about, discuss, and review their own work.
Create a "response" or "feedback page which contains some
questions about the project you would like answered. For instance:
- What did you like best about our earthquake project?
- Please suggest some things we could to do improve what we said or how we
- Have you ever been in an earthquake? Tell us about your experience.
Include the email address to send feedback to. Then, put a link to
this page at the bottom of every page in your Web project site.
Escalating the Structure
You could have your students be a little more formal in the
kind of feedback they wish. For instance, they could include this kind of rubric on the
We would appreciate it very much
if you would take a few moments to complete this evaluation of our Web site. We will take
your comments and suggestions seriously in an effort to improve the quality of our
presentation. Please feel free to make any suggestions you feel are appropriate to help
Just copy the evaluation rubric below into an email message. When you
are done reviewing, please send your evaluation to email@example.com.
Sincerely, Julio, Manuel, Karin, Towana
Evaluation of Earthquake Project by
Julio, Manuel, Karin, Towana
Give us 1-4 points for each of the following categories, using the
scoring rubric for each category
|___1. We clearly stated the purpose of our Web site and the research
question it seeks to answer.
- pt: doesn't attempt to state purpose of question
- pt: purpose or question stated are incorrect
- pt: purpose or question are moderately well stated
- pt: purpose and question are appropriately and correctly stated
|___2. We clearly described the methods we used to investigate and
answer the research question.
- pt: doesn't define methods
- pt: incorrectly describes methods
- pt: does a fair job of describing methods
- pt: accurately described research methods
|___3. We presented our information in a clear and logical format.
- pt: information seems to be inappropriate and disorganized
- pt: good information but it is not well-structured or presented
- pt: information is informative and well structured
- pt: Informative information, clearly presented in an interesting and
Please leave us some
comments about our project:
Finding More Distant Reviewers
Once your Web pages are "ready for prime time"
you can announce your project, which will bring visitors to read your hard work. With a
little luck, your Web project will continue to attract feedback and comments, which will
continue to be a rich treasure trove of feedback and great grist for dialog about the
topic. You can post announcements about your project on these two lists:
Pronounced "We Do," this list has become one of the best places
on which to lurk to find useful information, and also to post your own questions about the
World Wide Web, as well as make specific requests for feedback.
(Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connections)