Saturday, 15 June 2013

Peer Editing Using Google Drive

I have written a lot about using Wikis to teach writing, however, I
think that they serve a purpose just like Google Drive ( serves a purpose. Anyway, yesterday I did an interesting activity where 20 students used a single Google document to peer edit their classmates' essays.

Here's how to do it. 

Step 1 - Plan
I pair the students up and give each pair one worksheet (click herewhich helps them to plan ideas, as well as giving them some language to use in the essay. 

Step 2 - Write 
In pairs the students then write their essay directly on the Google Doc. Alternatively, they can write it on a Word Document, then copy and paste it to the Google Doc. While they are writing, the teacher is free to go around and offer support and advice. 

Step 3 - Peer Edit
Now all the essays are on the Google Doc (click here), the peer editing can start. I ask each pair to look at the essay below theirs and edit it. To help the students check the document, I give them a check sheet (click here) for things to look for and tick off. The students mainly check that there is a topic sentence, thesis statement, complete sentences, spelling etc. 

My students wanted to help with grammar as well so they suggested two systems. Highlight the sentence in blue if it is difficult to understand. Then, if they see a grammar mistake which they know they can fix, they highlight it in yellow

The students also wrote notes at the bottom of the essay to offer advice. This was a good opportunity to teach my students about direct language (This is wrong!) vs. indirect language (Why don't you change this part? How about...?) 

Step 4 - Edit
Once the essay has been edited, the students go back to their original essay to make the corrections. 

I was unsure as to how this activity would work. However, I was impressed to see all 20 students engaged in the process. It was relatively easy to see up and the students were eager to peer edit. Now I am confident that I can use this process with the students to edit their essays. I have 20 students in the class and using a process writing approach is very labour intensive. Although, if the students are given experience in editing essays for common issues, such as structure, cohesion and comprehension, then a lot of the editing can be completed before the teacher makes the final edits. This allows the students to learn from other student's written work, as well as help them to become better editors themselves. That's my hypothesis anyway haha. 

I hope this is useful to anyone out there who has a lot of students in the classroom and wants to use peer editing. I use it for essays and academic writing, though there is no reason why it couldn't be adapted for any writing activity. 


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Thanks for bringing such an important and delicate issue, which almost nobody dears to tackle.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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