Digital Writing Critiques

A better way to edit writing assignments

Frequently asked questions

Q: Have digital writing critiques been used in an actual course?

A: Yes. Dr. Blake has been using them in his media writing courses since Fall 2000. For the past several years, he has used them to teach media writing as a completely online course.

Q: Is the digital writing critique difficult to use?

A: If you can edit a document in Microsoft word, you can use the digital critique template.  We’ve done our best to simplify the process for you.

Q: Why did you decide to do this?

A: Ken was trying to find a way to streamline grading in his online courses. After some trial and error, he found that this is the solution that worked best for him.  Tricia became involved during a discussion on writing assessment with Ken where they shared, as is usually the case, the fun techie stuff they each were testing.

Q: How does it all work?

A: The digital critiques are based on HTML using frames.  Each document is put in a frame that is referenced in specified other frames.  The beauty of this system is that we’ve provided you the template, so you don’t have to worry too much about that (unless you want to).

Q: Can this work for other courses?

A: We hope so. Right now the tips document is geared towards media writing/news writing courses, but there is no reason why the document can’t be revised for other courses.  Who knows, perhaps as Ken and Tricia find some free time, they’ll be able to make additional tips documents for people to use.

Q: This sounds time consuming and like it is a lot of work. How much time does it take to use?

A: Once you’ve started using the templates, you’ll see that you move through grading with ease.  Think about it, no longer will you have to write out the explanation of what each student is doing wrong with a point. Instead, you’ll just link everything.

Q: What about students? Why should they prefer this digital critique?

A: There’s some concern regarding how much students understand regarding the feedback given on assignments. This makes it easy to show students where their errors are and give more detailed feedback than probably most teachers want to write on a paper (and trust us, we have returned papers covered in red ink in the past).  An additional perk is that student’s don’t have to struggle to read a teacher’s handwriting.  Everything is simple, clear and as detailed as you wish.

Q: Can I contact you with questions or suggestions?

A: Definitely. See our e-mail addresses on the "About us" page.