Monday, December 21, 2015

Simulate an essay with students

This affects how they select the content to be written, and the planning and organization of texts. The simulation helps them become aware of the need to build an autonomous text, and to control how the subject is presented progressively. The simulation also looks for students to begin studying for the exam earlier than usual, so they can anticipate how they will be evaluated (questions to be asked and correction criteria), so they are better prepared for what the teacher expects of them; to show what they learn and their difficulties without receiving an evaluation, receiving guidance instead, so when they review the texts they can play the role of readers and evaluators, so they can incorporate all of this when they take the actual test.
Students highly value this activity. Studying for an exam simulation from a list of questions, drafting a response with constraints in time and length, receiving comments on the produced texts, seeing the teacher's evaluation criteria in action, and receiving written corrections and a model of ideal answer; all these instances reduce the uncertainty in the future evaluation and decreases the usual anxiety. To participate in the analysis of the answers of fellow students puts everyone in the position of reader-reviewer-evaluator, and this helps them keep in mind the reader's point of view when writing for others, as well as the criteria by which the teacher corrects them. Finally, the teacher receives fewer questions about the correction of the exam because he or she has already shown the correction criteria, and because the students have been able to understand the situation beforehand.