Correcting Student-writing
with Markin (by Martin Holmes)
one experience . . .

A group of "Anglophone" (NNS students of English in a French-speaking environment) unlucky enough to have been exposed to English (according to our un-enlightened Authorities) before they joined my class.

I say this because the Anglophone classes have been cut from the budgets in all the Upper Secondary Schools in Canton Geneva (despite the large English-speaking population) in a very short-sighted way.

Each student was attributed an e-mail address on the Educational Network, with the syntax  - this e-mail address was used to send and retrieve the written work derived from the book reports (extensive reading) they had been assigned. 
Actually, each student could choose between four and six titles to report on. 
Each of the titles was submitted to me, and we decided on the final list together.

Tasks / Instructions
The book reports were ONLY accepted as "attached files", preferably saved as Rich Text Format files (*.rtf), so as to ease my end of the job (with version 2.0 of Markin)

Pre-reading task
The students filled in the following form  - adapted  from the book by Tricia Hedge
Using Readers in Language Teaching, ELTS, Macmillan 1985.
Drawing on the notes produced from each form, they then had to write a book report, and it was that book report that landed in my mailbox at each due date.

  • E-mail software - the choice was left to the students
  • My own e-mail software is Nestcape Messenger (v 4.7) or Eudora (v 5.0)
  • Markin, "marking and annotation software for on-line and electronic teaching environments", written by Martin Holmes, of the University de Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
  • Word Processing software. Nearly all the students used MicroSoft Word

I shall take two:


Diego - before correction. . .
Here is is text, as he handed it in, as seen through the filter of the  MARKIN software.

The buttons on the right (highly configurable) are what I click to place my comments on his paper.
Diego's text before correction

Diego - corrected
And here is what one sees after the text has been marked by the teacher using MARKIN:

Diego's text with correction markings

Here is Salimata's text - after the correction:
Salimata's text with correction markings

Salimata - commentary
One can also see the comments made by the teacher - see the box below her text:
comments for Salimata

Each student had received a list of the annotations used during the correction. 

Each student had the possibility of  proof-reading, re-writing, editing, and generally correcting the text as often as s/he liked. They were required, however, to "turn in" the text at least twice. 

The students really appreciated the precision of the annotations. 

For the most part, the parents did as well. I only had one parent who complained, and it turned out that the task (and the tools made available to the students) had been misrepresented to him. 

We had a rather interesting exchange of mail, and the student ended up doing things as I had requested in the end. . .

You will need to aim your tom-tom or
send your wax tablet / snail-mail message towards / to: 
Ms Lilliam Hurst
Collège Claparède
61 ch. de Fossard
1231 Conches
. . . because the website has been closed . . .

Page created on 04.09.2000 - by Lilliam Hurst
Teacher of EFL & English Literature at Collège Claparède, Geneva, Switzerland
CALL Facilitator at the CPTIC
(Centre Pédagogique des Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication)
Last edited on 09.01.2001
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