replies with 150 – 200 words in every module/week in which the forum is assigned. Each reply should be supported by personal experience, scripture, and/or academic references. In addition, if any “experts” are quoted, support your opinion using current APA format.
Writing for any subject can be stressful due to the perceived pressure of being graded or judged by a teacher. The fact that the work will go in front of an educator could cause the student to think that they should put up a guard and perhaps sound more scholarly as opposed to letting an organic thought form on the paper. One method I would choose to avoid this perceived pressure would be anonymous peer reviews. Through this method, one could take away the pressure of scrutiny associated with judgement. In a study a majority of students actually preferred this method of review as opposed to feedback from the teacher alone (Loretto et al, 2016, p.148). Though students should be mindful of the rules of writing, peer reviews allow the student to write organically and earnestly. Furthermore, students interviewed stated that anonymity allowed for students to focus on content without concern for where they stood in a social pecking order (p.154).
Peer reviews offer a lesson in themselves, as well. They allow the reviewer to see different styles of writing. “You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself” (Romans, 2:21) encompasses this method. The students are helping themselves become better writers. Sometimes a common mistake is evident when you see it from a peer, but it hides from you in your own daily writing. By seeing these errors, a student could become more mindful of their own shortcomings, making these reviews a teachable moment for reviewer and writer.
In an effort to inspire purposeful writing, I would ask that students put themselves in the position of a teenager of the time period or era we are covering in class. The student could creatively write a few paragraphs about an interaction or circumstance prevalent to that period. Another possibility is each student creating a mock news article about a significant event from the decade or era covered in class. Both of these would allow for the student to write enthusiastically and freely about a topic that the instructor could evaluate in terms of historical relevance. Giving the student the freedom to explore writing creatively as a warm up to the lesson could possibly stoke interest in the subject.
20 Bible Verses about Teaching. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.openbible.info/topics/teaching.
Loretto, A., DeMartino, S., & Godley, A. (2016). Secondary Students Perception of Peer Reviews of Writing. Research in the Teaching of English, 51(2), 134–161.