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Form Ever Follows Function: Using Technology to Improve Feedback on Student Writing in Law School

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Document pages: 42 pages

Abstract: Critiquing student writing is an important responsibility of many law professors. While the focus of a teacher s critique should be on the substance of the feedback, teachers should also consider the form of the critique to ensure that they are providing the necessary guidance to students effectively and efficiently. When choosing the critique format, teachers have a variety of options, including several electronic techniques. Unfortunately, many teachers have not considered the use of technology to comment on student writing. However, advances in technology coupled with the technological savvy and comfort level of today s student, may eventually dictate that all law teachers use some kind of electronic feedback when commenting on their students papers. This article is designed to encourage law professors to consider the use of technology to comment on student assignments by demonstrating that an electronic format could help many teachers be more proficient when critiquing their students writing. To help teachers determine the best critique format for their classes, the article provides a comparison of the different commenting methods and explores the considerations teachers should use when choosing the form of feedback. The article closes with a step-by-step guide to the current technology for providing comments on student writing electronically.

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