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By Pat Bowden, published December 5, 2017.
Hi, I’m Pat Bowden from online learning success. This month, I am presenting a three-part series on essay writing and peer assessing.
Many courses do not have essay questions, but some do.
Essays are very different from answering multiple choice questions. They are often more time-consuming. Not only do you need to know the subject, you have to organise your thoughts and produce a coherent answer. One way to find out if you have understood a topic is to explain it to someone else. Essays are a powerful way to put this into practice. You will quickly find out how much you know.
The nature of Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, means that there may be thousands of students from all over the world in the class and it is impossible for instructors to assess all their work individually. MOOCs with essay questions use student peers to assess one another’s answers. These are referred to as peer reviews or peer assessments. Your peers live in many countries and have varying levels of language proficiency as well as cultural differences. It can be helpful and interesting to read other students’ essays and receive comments on your own work.
There are five main steps for writing an essay: accumulating information, arranging, writing, editing, and proofreading. Scholarly essays also need to include a bibliography or list of references to back up the writing.
Next week, look out for part 1 of my series on writing essays, on www.onlinelearningsuccess.org