Revise... Revise... Revise

At the same time, be prepared to revise... and revise... and revise! Unlike a printed book or a paper handout, online content is always a work in process. [next]

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If I could wave my magic wand three times over the world of education in order to banish three things, I would banish fear, perfectionism, and grades. These are closely related, with fear being a big part of the culture of perfectionism, and grades being the numerical expression of our misbegotten quest for perfectionism.

As a writing teacher, revision is obviously a big part of the classes that I teach. Sadly, though, in most college classes, writing is more like a quiz or exam rather than a real writing experience, and many of my students have never had a chance to revise their writing, much less to revise it repeatedly with abundant feedback from both the instructor and their peers. They often view revision as some kind of punishment, a failure to make it perfect the first time. No wonder students struggle with writing and often feel frustrated by that, or even terrified. They expect to get grades on their writing, but they rarely get the feedback that they need to improve. For more about how I do writing feedback in my classes, see this blog post: Writing - Feedback - Revision.

This poster is another one from the Proverb Laboratory: They wouldn’t make erasers if we didn’t make mistakes.

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