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Written Feedback and the Conference

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The written feedback that you provide to students operates in parallel to the oral feedback you provide during your one-to-one conferencing.  As discussed on the Aligning Conferences with the Assignment Sequence page, there is no one model for providing written feedback in relation to the conference.  The key is that each conference be associated with one of the major assignments in the sequence; where that conference falls in relation to the writing process and your own workflow will determine the type and timing of the written feedback.  

For instance, here are some different formats:

  • Hand back drafts with written feedback before the conference, giving the student time to review your comments and come in prepared with particular points they would like to talk about in developing a revision plan.
  • Hand back drafts with written feedback at the beginning of the conference session, using that feedback a touchstone for your conversation.
  • Hand back drafts with annotations either before or after the conference, but use the last 10 minutes of the conference to collaborate with the student on a final summation comment for the draft that incorporates an agreed-upon revision plan.
  • Hand back drafts with annotations at the end of the conference, and follow up after the conference with a summation comment (via email or Canvas) that synthesizes key takeaways and conversation points from your reading of the draft and your conversation during the conference.
  • Hand back drafts with full written feedback after the conference, using the conference time primarily to address the student’s revision goals and interests (guided by your own sense of priorities) rather than letting your comments dictate the direction of the conversation.

No matter when you provide the written feedback to the student, keep in mind the principles for effective commenting and the need to gesture toward transfer toward future communication situations as well as addressing particular revision ideas for that draft.