A colleague and I started using this Peer Review "lab" activity in our studio-based General Chemistry II course to get students to critically think about what they and their peers were writing on lab reports. When the studio-based course was axed, we continued it in the traditional lab during the fifth or sixth week of a 14 week semester.
The activity asks students to review three writing samples from two previous lab writing assignments and work through parts of a worksheet at home. This worksheet is then brought to the lab course and discussed and completed with their peers. The writing samples were anonymized and reproduced with the writer's consent. The example documents provided are from a GC I lab course. I typically didn't post a "key" on how I would answer these questions, but I've included one here even though it is subjective based on teaching style.
It was great to hear students discuss how a paragraph should be rewritten, evaluate a figure, or determine which abstract "checked the boxes". Most students wished that it occurred earlier in the semester.
We had so much success with it that we moved it to both GC I and GC II lab courses, but this can be easily adapted to other courses or as a lecture activity. Thanks to the participants of SLiThEr #41 for suggesting this as a LO. Please adapt this as you see fit!
This was really just to help provide "real-time" feedback, as we all know most students don't read our comments and/or don't write drafts of their writing assignments. My specific goal was to get students to evaluate how they communicate information and help them see what constitutes a "good", "mediocre" or "poor" writing assignment.
Students were given the writing samples and worksheet a week in advance. They were expected to complete the relevant sections on their own for discussion during the upcoming lab period. Students were assigned groups of four to five for discussion, and expected to discuss what they wrote on their worksheet and/or how/if something needed to be re-written. Most groups took 60-90 minutes to complete the exercise, as they continually asked for feedback.
If students did the take-home worksheet I gave them 75%, if they actively engaged in the discussion then I would give them full credit (100%) for the "lab".