I used to feel overwhelmed by writing classes. So when I was at conferences or perusing journals, I would focus on anything about writing instruction. Now, I love teaching writing, but still haven’t stopped searching out information about the latest trends in writing instruction. I posted in July about using track changes in Word and screencast feedback using Jing. Well, my latest pet project also deals with computer mediated writing feedback. I was reading “Technology and Corrective Feedback for L2 Writers: Principles, Practices, and Problems” by Ferris (2012, p. 15) which had an aside about using “macros to provide brief, generic explanations to common errors”. I honestly knew very little about macros and nothing about setting them up, but I was curious. After a little googling, I found out that with Macros you can create shortcuts for tasks you repeat often. They are actually pretty easy to record too (and if you are here at INTO OSU, I can help you make them or give you mine). They were exactly the tool I was looking for to create hyperlinked feedback.
Here are the macros I set:
|Mistake||Short-cut/Macro||Symbol with link|
|Article||CONTROL + A,R||art|
|Capitalize||CONTROL + C,A||cap|
|Fragment||CONTROL + F,R||frag|
|Number||CONTROL + N,U||#|
|Possessive||CONTROL + P,O||poss|
|Punctuation||CONTROL + P,U||punc|
|Run-on||CONTROL + R||run-on|
|Spelling||CONTROL + S,P||sp|
|Subject/verb||CONTROL + S,V||s/v|
|Verb Tense||CONTROL + VT||vt|
|Word Form||CONTROL + W,F||wf|
|Word Order||CONTROL + W,O||wo|
Now, I am using macros to link my coded errors corrections, like CAP, S/V, VT, to websites with explanations of the rule(s) and practice. It took some time to set-up, but I graded my first set of student papers today using the Macros and was so excited about it. They were easy to use and students get just-in-time help and practice. I don’t have any student feedback on them yet, but I hope they are as over the moon about it as I am.
Do you have any websites that you like for grammar explanations? What would you link your codes to?