Assessing Writing: Feedback and Revision

Hello colleagues, In the most recent COABE journal, David Rosen reviews a number of websites that support students and teachers in assessing writing. One of those websites is ELI Review. This site includes a remarkable set of materials to support the teaching and assessing of writing including curricular resources and teacher development ideas. The section on feedback and revision is particularly worth checking out.

As noted with regard to providing feedback and teaching students to revise:  "30 years of research by composition scholars tells us that we should be helping students learn to revise and to do so via multiple drafts or iterations. However,[researcher] Jody Shipka notes something essential with regard to revision: surface changes--what lots of teachers call “editing” and “peer editing”--is not “revision” (just as “peer editing” is not the same thing as “peer feedback”). Like other researchers interested in revision, Shipka focuses on “deep revision,” or a process that involves rethinking the purpose, goals, audiences, and ideas of writing."

It's clear that we cannot expect students to know how to provide effective feedback to one another, nor can we expect them to engage in "deep revision" of their writing unless we show them what we mean.

Although ELI Review targets a K12 audience, this site has a lot to offer adult educators, too. Check it out and report your impressions here.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Assessment CoP


I would love to read this article from the COABE Journal. Today I asked my two colleagues who get the journal if I could borrow theirs to read, and both of them had thrown theirs away. :( 

Unfortunately, the COABE journal seems to be only available in physical form to subscribers, otherwise I'd recommend talking to your co-workers about accessing it online. Full-text articles are available online through EBSCOhost, so your local library might be able to get it for you. The full title of the journal is: The Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education.

The abstract conveniently includes three of the reviewed websites: "The article offers information on several web sites for assessing writing including the Eli Review located at, the Peerceptive TM located at http ://www, and the Writetheworld located at"