Generally speaking, my response to our last workshop is positive. While I have to make a couple of remarks, overall it is a successful way of having students help each other revise their papers.
My arguments that favor this type of a peer workshop are:
1) It allows students to express their concerns related to their papers freely (they won’t feel dumb if asking a silly question, or risk to be laughed at by another thirty students)
2) It also brings the students within their groups closer and encourages their cooperation (we can hear valuable inputs from our classmates that can help us improve our writing skills)
3) By being asked to point out our potential problems, and have other students help us resolve the same is highly appreciated, especially if we know that our weaknesses are someone else’s strong points
4) We have a chance to practice and learn from each other
5) Group discussions help us generate new ideas which help our creativity
6) Having 10 minutes per paper teaches us to be effective at evaluating our peers’ work (improves time management skills)
Some of the disadvantages I find with this type of workshop are:
1) Not all students have the same writing skills (incompetent critics)
2) Not enough time to give a detailed feedback
3) Working under pressure (time limitation plus background noise)
4) Possible intimidation by more dominant students in one’s group
Taking all the pros and cons into consideration, the pros outweigh the cons and I find this particular workshop beneficial.
Well-done professor Pope! J