Using SWoRD in class

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I am just now learning about SWoRD (Student Writing o? Reviewing Documents, is the closest long-form I can think of quickly), which is a way to correct and assist large classes of writing students:

SWoRD is a web-based reciprocal peer review system. In less fancy terms, students turn their class papers into SWoRD, which then assigns this paper to five or six peers in the class. The peers grade the paper and give advice for how to improve it. Students revise the paper and turn it back in to SWoRD, which distributes the paper to the same peers for final review. SWoRD determines the accuracy of the ratings through a complex process of separating out different kinds of bias in grading. The authors rate the advice given to them in terms of helpfulness. Reviewers get a grade for their work which is one half accuracy and one half helpfulness. In this way, reviewers must work hard and take their task seriously. 

For some reason, Marginal Revolution‘s review seems clearer to me in how the process works:

Basically students write an assignment and submit it to SWORD which randomly assigns 5 other students to grade the assignment and offer helpful comments; the gradees, in turn, grade the quality of the comments.

The typical students I teach aren’t yet capable of long essays so marking their writing projects is relatively simple.  If I were looking at larger reports or larger classes, this sounds very useful.





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