Get Insights before you Read?

As a former English teacher, I’ve spent many hours over many weekends putting feedback on students’ writings.  As time-consuming as this was, I knew it was important. Among the best things that came from the experience of reading a class set of texts was the shortlist of notes I jotted down when I noticed some common issues or skill gaps. These could range from the correct use of semi-colons to strategies for using transitions between paragraphs or the more subtle arts of drawing inferences from quotations rather than just repeating their main ideas.

As bleary-eyed as I might be, I returned to school enthusiastically, knowing that I had specific ways to help students improve their writing.  I never dreamt that someday I would be able to get such insights and examples without reading a single papers. But with Scribo, you can! Let me explain…

Insights and Work Samples > Possibilities for Targeted Teaching

As soon as students have submitted their digital texts (from any sources such as their hard drive, Google Docs,  Word or even PDFs), you click on the report button.  This sets Scribo into action and it applies over 30 analytics and AI routines across every word, sentence ad paragraph for each text.  Imagine how low it would take you to do such a thing. Scribo typically does it in 3-4 minutes for the whole class. There are literally dozens of insights and text samples teachers can use, but here are my favourites so far:

  • Quickly see how “on-topic” students are. If many students haven’t addressed the topic deeply or broadly enough, you can have a quick brainstorming session on how to address more aspects of the topic.
  • Sometimes the number of paragraphs is significant, one click sorts the class list by paragraph count. A quick look at those with too many or too few paragraphs provides a teachable moment with anonymous sample texts.
  • Explore the range of vocabulary used by students and see some of the “fancier” words in the very context of the sentences in which they were used. This is a great assist when students are turning to the Thesaurus and might need help refining their understanding and usage of the words.
  • Cohesive words are what Scribo calls conjunctions, connectives and transitions.  A very handy “Cohesive Explorer” divides a list of hundreds of cohesives into common and advanced groupings. Common cohesives are the basic connectives, whereas Advanced cohesives connote such advanced ideas as concessions, clarifications and inferencing.  Once students have learned the basic structure of body paragraphs in informative or persuasive essays, using the Cohesive Explorer really empowers them to show their more sophisticated thinking by prompting them with possible alternatives.

If you haven’t tried Scribo yet, get in touch. We have a great sandbox site where you can try out all of Scribo’s features with a range of pre-loaded texts.