The aim of this paper is to show the results of a questionnaire that was completed by 91 students of English studies enrolled in the first-year writing course at the Institute of English, University of Łódź, Poland. The questionnaire was designed to elicit information on students’ opinions on three aspects of the course, namely forms of feedback on written work, peer review, and journal writing. These points were considered crucial for meeting the objectives of the course, so it was hoped that examining the students’ opinions about these issues could provide valuable feedback on the new course.
Giving feedback and peer reviewing have been seen as closely related and involve such issues as the role of the tutor in evaluating students’ work, cooperation with peers, and possible improvements in this area. The most common form of feedback about a paper was a conversation between the student and the teacher. However, the choice of the form of feedback was up to the teacher: It included either a talk with the teacher or the teacher’s written commentary on the paper. Simultaneously, peer review as a technique used during classes was regarded as helpful by more than half of the students.
As far as journal writing is concerned, the students found keeping a journal to be a positive experience, saying that writing journal entries not only helped them improve their writing skills but also allowed them to “open up,” learn how to express their own opinions, and even to relax. They suggested that journal entries be submitted online and checked by the tutors more frequently.
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