A Word to the Corpus Wiki Protagonists, the Students

What is this wiki?


After my 2006 FCE students got their results this February, we were -at least- surprised. Two tendencies that probably go across cultures were reflected:

a) The students' perception of how good or bad they had performed at every paper did not always coincide with the result. There seems to be an unwritten law that says students get higher marks when they think the task was too difficult and lower marks when they are sure it was fairly easy.

b) The actual results obtained in writing tend to coincide with the grades I had given my students’ performance half-way down the course (mid-term exams). Exam results do not always reflect all the progress done or high marks obtained towards the end of the year.

Results Perception Gap
So students feel quite happy because their marks have been improving throughout the course. They do the exam, get quite confident they will obtain a B and they get a C, for example.
It is important to understand that the Cambridge exams grade you on the basis of a sample production, not on all your production or progress done.

How can I make the course evaluation process more effective?
Giving you individual grades of individual tasks and then producing an average is not always the best way to evaluate your production. Definitely not good to get an idea of how you will do the day of the exam.
This wiki space aims at helping you evaluate your performance as a whole, your portfolio and that will give you and me a better idea of how much we are progressing or decide what needs to be done to get ahead. But for that we need a site to organise us, not a collection of papers in a copybook.


How will you participate?
-To start, you will be posting every written assignment here. All of your homework as well as some things we will draft in class.
-Wiki pages have a “Discussion” tab. That’s a kind of forum message board. We will use that function to comment on each others production. No one is learning alone here; we are all on the same big boat. Every student will get feedback on his writing from a classmate before I evaluate or correct mistakes. So get ready to talk!

Note that those two steps will be your homework. Your participation will be awarded a mark.

However, I hope this site is not just a collection of homework. I want you to become the owners of this wiki and propose writing ideas of your own. You are more than welcome to create new sections or to start your own blogs. These projects will be optional and not compulsory at all.

How to Wiki
If you haven’t used a wiki before, no need to worry. It is as simple as sending an e-mail. Yet so much better.

We’ll go step by step.

Claudia Ceraso
Buenos Aires, February 2007.