Monday, 13 November 2017 12:47

832 - Case Study Feedback

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The following comments are collected from all student submissions for the case study assignment. I have depersonalized all comments. I have then organized them into three sections. The first are in-text comments that relate to specific instances in the assignments. I selected some that I thought were revealing to the writing itself. The next two sections are from my general comments. I organized them by Positive feedback and constructive feedback. Some are based on the content of the assignment, and some are based on the technical aspects - the writing style and citations.

Although this feedback is for PME 832, students in my other course (PME 851) will be interested in the writing comments.

In-text Comments

Great start – could you add just one sentence showing some connection between the two, or why you chose them?

Powerful opening -really does a great job of introducing the case study!

It might be good to just introduce both schools here in one short sentence. You have both in your title, but you need to mention here just what you are doing.

What are some more concrete conclusions you could make from these two studies?

After reading the rest of your paper, I see that you have set up a great focus for your paper but you do not return to it.

Can you combine these two paragraphs and use the case study to highlight the main concepts of networked learning rather than discuss the approach separately and then go to the case study? It would give a greater coherence to your paper.

Careful with value-laden adjectives. This may be unfortunate, but I can make that determination from the facts and organization of your sentence. This sounds like being flexible is a bad thing.

Can you provide a conclusion that ties the two studies together or highlights some general improvements that both styles would benefit from – reflection seems to be a common theme.

Interesting conclusion. I would like to see a strong discussion about the comparisons between the two. I think this is where you could develop your ideas about pedagogic approaches more thoroughly to benefit from a greater context. You were asked to look at two studies in order to provide that wider context.

Great writing – very clear and succinct. The sentences are models of how to offer an idea and then support it with evidence.

Can you blend this with the previous sentences to provide a rich description of how the case study demonstrates place based learning? You writing rather separates the two and make me have to work harder to make the connections.

To be concise, just leave out colloquialisms. This is a different form of writing than a discussion board

I think you can combine this with the unpredictable learning issue more clearly. How will the reflections be assessed? Are these the self-assessments?

Only use tables for numerical data or very short text-based data. This all should be in paragraph form. It is harder to write perhaps, but easier to read.

You need to save these conclusions for later in your argument.

Careful – you are not really establishing an argument here. You need to be clear and concise when making these conclusions. I would expect such a statement to come after a few paragraphs leading me through a clear argument.

You have already talked about this topic a few times. Can you reorganize your paragraphs to bring a more coherent argument?

Positive feedback

This is a compelling piece and I can see that you have given a lot of thought to it and you have incorporated a range of literature.

This is a great paper. Although it is much longer than specified (~1800 word compared to 1000 assigned), it was so well written than I didn’t notice the extra words until the end. It might be useful for you to go through and see where you can cut down on your word count without losing any ideas.

You captured the essence of the assignment. Your writing is also a model of efficiency and organization. This contributes so much to the overall readability of the paper and makes what your thoughts and comments so much clearer to the reader. It also helps you to build your own understanding further.

I think you have thoroughly captured the pedagogic approaches demonstrated by each study as well. There could be arguments of other overlapping approaches that they might be modelling, but your arguments in support of the approaches you highlighted clearly support your opinions.

I was also pleased to see how you incorporated the literature. You used quotes and references very well. I would suggest that you could use a few more references to authors, especially when you are making some type of statement or claim.

This was very interesting, especially the HBS section. I thought you captured the essence of the AI and were able to suggest a meaningful way forward supported with a solid example.

I was also impressed with your breakdown of the School Grown case. You did a great job to bring in some of the literature into that section

You have given me a great piece of writing. You stepped out of the assignment box and discussed these two case studies in tandem, which really gave your writing a great focus and a means for you to put your comments into a wider context between the two studies.

You clearly met all the requirements and went well beyond.

This is a very thoughtful and complete paper – almost too complete - 1800 words! I appreciate the effort to piece this together and methodically go through the two projects. You really did cover a lot of ideas and almost every time I had a question, you answered it later in the paper.

Constructive feedback

You have given an interesting discussion of two solid case studies. However, I would like to see you really dig into the actual content of the courses. If you look at my comments above, you will see that you bring up important elements of the case studies but do not fully explore them.

You also have a tendency to use very colloquial language. Students who use this style often get a bit lost in the discussion and do not get to the point.

Your report is interesting and you have brought in experiences from your own work and tied it to the case studies. However, I did feel that you were jumping between the case studies and your work without a logical connection.

I also note that in some sections, you relied heavily on quotes, especially in the discussion of the learning approaches. When you are discussing the various sections, it is important to keep the approaches fresh in your mind and in the reader’s mind. So, by breaking it into section as you did, the connections between the sections broke down. This makes the overall reading of the report less effective and interesting.

I think you have picked two good projects and given a reasonable overview of them. You have also identified some pedagogic approaches within the projects and given examples to support your discussion.

By using tables as you did, I think you have confused the logic of your discussion for yourself and hence, as you will note in my comments, the flow of your discussion is compromised. This format places the onus on the reader to make sense of your ideas. That is actually your job as the writer.

I think that you would benefit greatly from reorganizing this into a proper essay style piece. If you view each paragraph as a solid and concrete idea, you will find that you can better organize each paragraph and then manipulate the ideas by moving the paragraphs back and forth until you find a logical flow to your ideas. Then, your writing will be much easier to read for yourself first as a useful piece of scholarship, and then for your readers as a demonstration of competency.

It is quite late, but I am generally very flexible with dates as I understand the pressures of being a teacher. I do not usually penalize anyone for lateness.

For the challenges and suggestions, while I truly appreciated your effort to combine the two cases and comment on both at once, you perhaps were a bit general. Try to really think of the context of the two case studies and offer some suggestions that could really work in their particular setting.

I understand that you were not specifically asked to compare the studies but I was hoping to see you draw out some comparisons or contrasts – otherwise there is no real value to having two case studies.

I think the paper is reasonably well written, but try to really focus on being concise. This is not a conversation – it is a one-way communication of ideas and I want to get to your points.

I think you have given a comprehensive coverage of the two case studies. As I noted above, I think some of your comments might need a bit further examination, but overall it was interesting.

Also, as I noted, I think there could be a greater focus on comparing the two studies. There are some similarities and there are distinct differences as you note in the conclusion. How can these two studies, and us, learn from their experiences and learn from each other at a more general level to improve their programs.

I would like to suggest that you write in shorter paragraphs and then try to manipulate those paragraphs as discrete objects and move them around. You might find that you have reiterated and repeated yourself a few times, and that you have left an idea only to return to it a paragraph or two later. This makes your paper much longer than it should be.

Nevertheless, I think you did a great job to really dig onto these case studies and bring out some highly practical issues. I appreciate the comments on social injustice and agree that many of these go unnoticed and hence are perpetuated. Systemic injustice of this nature gets embedded because people in positions of power (parents, teachers) often gloss over them leading students to believe they are not all that important.

I would like to suggest that you try to write in a formal essay style so that your ideas are logical and clearly linked – so that you can better show for example, cause and effect, sequence and relative importance of your ideas. Your somewhat bullet pointed style (without the bullet points) makes reading your work a bit more difficult and quite disjointed. There is no flow and so I found myself jumping back and forth to put your ideas together. You are supposed to put them together for your audience.

I agree with your points and think you have some great comments about bringing the community to help guide the projects in order to get more out of them. However, you did not explicitly state how students could be guided, but alluded to the companies who might hire these students. That is important, but can we be student focused?

I have been suggesting to other students that an extensive and logical next step in this paper might have been to try and compare / contrast the two studies more thoroughly. You were not asked to do so, but otherwise there is no real value to having two case studies. You would just do better to examine one more closely or have two separate papers.

Although writing produces a linear text, you should not approach it that way. Start with smaller paragraphs and then see how you can manipulate and combine ideas to really be concise. That will really bring out your ideas and leave you more words at the end for the conclusion.

If you have clear distinct paragraphs, you can move them around like objects and see the overall coherence of your argument.

I think the paper is reasonably well written, but try to really focus on being concise. This is not a conversation – it is a one-way communication of ideas and I want to get to your points.

I see that you have read widely and given a lot of thought to your work. However, there are a few difficulties with the organization, which cloud the impact of your thoughts.

As for your arguments, you are putting conclusions up front an the discussing them afterwards. This makes your writing much longer as well. It also confuses the reader because you end up repeating yourself.

Read 64 times Last modified on Monday, 13 November 2017 21:03
Dr. Paul Leslie

Associate of Taos Institute:

Education is a Community Affair. 

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