Pinning is winning.
As students write using the essaypop platform, they have continuous access to the Hive. The Hive is the social and interactive heart of the essaypop system where teachers, students, and guests engage in meaningful, real-time conversations about their writing.
These conversations are what make writing with essaypop such an enjoyable experience for students and what makes them want to come back for more. The experience is not only exciting and encouraging, but it also creates more proficient writers, because as the research shows, students that are actively engaged with their teachers and peers write more proficiently and confidently than those who go it alone.
But as important as giving and receiving feedback is to young writers, and as good as the Hive is at activating robust student discussions around writing, the reality is that not all advice is equally useful. While a lot of comments that students receive are encouraging, upbeat, friendly, or even downright silly, they aren’t really what we would consider “actionable advice”. And this is okay. Every comment need not be super-serious and insightful. That’s part of the fun.
But when it comes to getting serious, how does a student who wants to improve a piece of writing sort through the feedback they want to seriously consider when revising their writing and the stuff that can be left “on the side of the road”? How does one separate the wheat from the chaff when it matters?
Recently, essaypop created a simple solution to capture useful feedback and place it where it will be most useful, next to the student writing area itself. We call it the PIN FEATURE. Here's how it works:
When a student is in the Hive, and they come across a comment from their teacher or a peer that they know will be helpful when it comes time to revise their paper, the writer simply clicks the pin icon adjacent to the comment itself.
The pinned comment is immediately transferred to the sidebar in the student’s writing area, and when the student is revisiting their writing, they can review the items that they pinned in the Hive and take them into consideration when they make changes to their essay.
And if a student wants to go back to the Hive to review the section of their writing where the pinning occurred, they simply click the arrow icon next to the comment, and they will be taken directly to the area where the comment was originally pinned.
Advice, commentary, and feedback are not created equal. With the pin feature, students can quickly and easily capture useful feedback and get on with the business of improving their writing.
If you are interested in learning more about teaching your students to become better at giving one another feedback, please take a look at this article about turning students into effective writing coaches.