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Quality Peer Feedback with Google Jamboard

While peer feedback is a crucial part of student writing, implementing successful peer review activities in the classroom is a challenge during a normal year- adding distance learning on top of that resulted in additional hurdles (but these struggles also became a great focus for my research!)

Feedback activities can improve writing for both author and reader/feedback giver. They can also help students engage in academic discourse & reflection in order to more deeply understand the writing process. In addition they can amplify and enhance students’ understanding of audience needs.

Although peer feedback can be powerful, it can be challenging to get students to leave FEEDBACK on content, not just CORRECT grammar/typos, to move BEYOND fluff comments like “Looks great!” (especially when it most certainly does NOT), and the fact that student may be worried about OFFENDING others with their constructive criticism, or worried about being JUDGED because of their writing abilities.

Before turning to Jamboard, I tried Flipgrid, Zoom Breakout Rooms, PearDeck, Google Docs, and more! None of these tools really fit well for my student’s needs, though. Flipgrid is a great website, but the traffic it was receiving during distance learning meant it was “down” often and thus unreliable; technology issues also impacted our ability to use breakout rooms and Google Docs. PearDeck was great “in the moment” but did not allow for students to go back to the feedback and review it at a later time… I was stuck… Until, a colleague introduced me to JAMBOARD (Thank you, Ms. Marcucci!)

What I quickly found was that Jamboard can help with these challenges! It forces students to focus on leaving FEEDBACK for REVISION, not PROOFREADING for ERRORS. It creates STRUCTURED, FOCUSED feedback rather than an intimidating “blank page.” Feedback is ANONYMOUS for both the AUTHOR and the student GIVING feedback (AND, students who don’t have a draft ready can STILL participate!) & it’s QUICK to set up and EASY to use. Plus, the students really like it!

Some possible uses for Jamboard Feedback can be the following:

  • SHORT excerpts from a student’s paper:

    • Introduction Paragraph

    • Conclusion Paragraph

    • ONE Body Paragraph

  • Individual PARAGRAPHS, VIGNETTES, or other SHORT responses.

  • Note: Jamboard will NOT work for FULL Essays!

I like using Jamboard with very STRUCTURED questions/ focuses for student feedback. One structure I’ve used in Creative Writing is: Bless, Press, Address. (Thanks Great Valley Writing Project!)

  • “Bless” Ideas: What does this excerpt/author do REALLY WELL? What is a GOLDEN LINE from this piece?

  • “Press” Ideas: What QUESTIONS do you have for this author about this piece? Where could they provide more CLARITY or more DETAILS?

  • “Address” Ideas: WHERE/ON WHAT would you recommend the author focus their revisions in preparation for the next draft?

Other ideas for structured prompts include:

  • Quote Analysis: Is the evidence properly EMBEDDED into the paragraph? Does this author fully EXPLAIN how their selected quotes CONNECT TO/ PROVE their thesis statement?

  • Introduction Paragraph: Does the INTRO include a HOOK that grabs the reader’s attention? Has the writer crafted an ARGUABLE claim?

  • Conclusion Paragraph: Does the CONCLUSION leave the reader with a clear “call to action”?

  • Prompt Responses: Has the writer crafted an ARGUABLE claim? Does the author THOROUGHLY answer the provided question and INCLUDE EVIDENCE to SUPPORT their opinion?

But, with many tools, it’s easier to SEE how they are used than READ how they are used, so here are some ways that I have used Jamboard in my Creative Writing Classroom (Please note that Jamboard’s biggest downfall is that it is limited to only 20 “slides”):

I like to have them REFLECT on their own writing, progress, or the writing process at the end, as well!

Ready to try? To create a Jamboard, follow these steps (very similar to creating a Google Doc/Slides!)

In Google Drive:

  • Click NEW

  • Click MORE

  • Click Google Jamboard!

You can also navigate to to see all your past Jamboards in one spot! :)

Finally, I also really like the ideas included in this blog, though I haven’t tested them in my classroom yet!

PLEASE feel free to shoot me an email with any questions, OR if you try Jamboard in your class! I would love to hear about it!

Stay Techie,

Madi Krisko

ELA Teacher

Ceres High School

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