Peer grading is a process where students seek and give feedback to one another based on set assessment criteria. Online training platforms have lately been experimenting with this feature to increase interaction and engagement, and build a classroom-type structure for online learners. Peer grading feature is an extremely beneficial tool for learners enrolled in online writing courses as it helps them get readers’ feedback to improve their writing skills. Those who wish to become better writers and want to make a career in fiction writing, non-fiction writing, editing, screenplay and advertising or publishing can extract significant insights from their peers’ feedback. Peer grading has numerous advantages that help in the development of students’ writing skills. Some of these include:
- Diverse and timely feedback: Instructors are usually occupied with multiple batches of students. Thus, delivering detailed and timely feedback on every assignment becomes time consuming. With one instructor handling humongous tasks, students might get delayed and inaccurate feedback, they might get lesser time to rectify their mistakes, and they might experience a lack of diverse feedback. Peer grading allows students to anonymously share unbiased and detailed feedback on each other’s assignments which saves time and broadens their perspective. They get inspiration from others’ writing styles and get a better understanding of their own work. Timely and diverse feedback provides more room for practising, allows students to improve in every other assignment, reduces the odds of overestimating or underestimating their own skills, and encourages them to read and write more.
- Writing for a broader audience: Peer grading helps students practice writing professionally for a larger audience, and not just for the sake of completing assignments. Students take assignments seriously and work with utter dedication to ensure they perform the best they can. They learn to keep their audience in mind, choose a niche and find writing ideas accordingly; they observe and research with a broader perspective; and avoid sensitive or offensive content. Response from peers also improves their writing style, choice of words, sentence framing, brevity in content and allows them to be expressive. Students also learn to structure their content according to the genre, type of audience, their age group, demographic and forms such as fiction, feature, news, advertisement or nonfiction.
- Learn to detect, rectify, and avoid mistakes: Peer grading helps develop a sense of reflective comparison where students compare their own writing style, words, structure and mistakes with that of their peers and work dedicatedly towards improving themselves. In the process of giving feedback and detecting others’ errors, students unknowingly find and remember their own unique and repetitive mistakes and ensure that they avoid these in future. Common mistakes such as wrong or no insertion of punctuation marks, usage of a wrong word, spelling mistakes, capitalisation, faulty sentence structure, misplaced apostrophe, lengthy sentences or missing articles can only be detected and avoided with continuous writing practice. Well-structured write-ups with fewer mistakes highlight students’ focus, dedication, and professionalism towards writing and helps them find better career opportunities in the future.
- Development of critical thinking and cooperation skills: Inclusion of the peer grading feature in an online training increases students’ interest and sincerity in assignments and projects. They spend more time in critically analysing, revising, revisiting, rewriting, and editing their write-ups before submission. While giving feedback, they critically evaluate other’s work, think in different directions, analyse assignments on the basis of given criteria, and detect, solve, and suggest solutions for complex problems. Students also learn to write and cooperate with a team of writers where they construct and express feedback positively, learn to take feedback on their write-ups positively, and incorporate the suggestions, ideas, and feedback of multiple people in their writing, which is extremely essential in the professional world.
- Find and choose their genre of writing: As not everyone can become a novelist, scriptwriter, advertisement writer, blogger, corporate writer, academic writer, or journalist, it is essential for students to find the genre of their interest and expertise. While an online training features multiple modules of writing and teaches different genres such as fiction, non-fiction, screenplay and advertising, peer grading helps them choose the genre that perfectly suits their writing skills and capabilities. Working on multiple assignments of different genres such as writing a character sketch, editing a short story, self-assessment of the editing skills, writing a news feature, writing a screenplay for a scene or reading comprehension, and getting feedback on the same helps students find the best genre and pursue a career in the same.
Courtesy: Internshala Trainings is an e-learning platform to learn new-age skills from Internshala.