Communication Across the Disciplines

Being a good Group Member

No one writes alone: Peer review in the classroom--A guide for students

A good member

  • Comes prepared (drafts ready, reading done)
  • Helps the group get organized quickly and efficiently
  • Watches the time (unless this role is given to a designated timekeeper)
  • Makes sure that everyone has an opportunity to participate
  • Gently draws out those members that need more encouragement
  • Gently reminds those members that would dominate to share the floor

If a respondent:

  • Listens carefully
  • Takes accurate notes
  • Identifies what is effective in the writing
  • Identifies what is problematic in the writing
  • Phrases criticisms constructively ("Have you considered wording it this way…?)
  • Distinguishes between personal opinion and problems that may affect others
  • Articulates feelings as well as facts ("This section confused me," or "I felt here that you were maybe reluctant to explain your point in more depth")
  • Provides feedback concisely
  • Acknowledges the writer's final authority in the text

If a writer presenting his or her work:

  • Presents the material clearly (whether reading aloud or providing a draft)
  • Listens carefully to the respondents
  • Does not apologize or make excuses or try to respond defensively)
  • Lets the writing stand on its own
  • Takes careful notes on the respondents' suggestions for future revising
  • If additional help is needed, provides questions to the respondents
  • Recognizes that responsibility for the test finally belongs to the writer
  • Thanks the respondents for their contributions

If problems develop, communicate

  • Take responsibility for making things work
  • If you-as a group-need more time to finish the work
  • If a group member does not work collaboratively with others and this is sabotaging the work of the group
  • If a group member fails to show or doesn't come prepared, etc.

Created by Susan Wyche