As part of our class I have graduate student discussion leaders grading (“peer reviewing”) the memos of their classmates. I developed this assignment after watching several generations of students devastated by their first peer review experience. If we can only curb the love bombing and get our students accustomed to a little more direct critique, I hope it will curb our trend of total personality melt downs from moderately positive reviews. Anyway, building up a thick skin starts here, and learning how to critique your friends in a productive, respectful fashion is a skill we can learn.
They’re pretty freaked out by the assignment, and have developed among themselves an amusing adaptation to the system. For the last several weeks, the discussion leader will write comments on the other student’s paper, but put their criticisms and suggested grade on a post-it note, affixed to the second page. The presumption is that I add the other comments, and decide on the final grade.
I haven’t raised an objection, both because it seems that we’re making progress with this skill and because I suppose I am the editor/fall guy in this relationship. But I wonder what the discussions of this technique sounded like.