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Don't edit writing to learn

Editing write-to-learn (WTL) responses is counterproductive. This kind of writing must be informal for students to reap the benefits of thinking through ideas and questioning what they understand and what confuses them. Moreover, most WTL activities are impromptu. By asking students to summarize a key point in the three minutes at the end of class, you get students to focus on ideas. They don't need to edit for spelling and sentence punctuation, and if you mark those errors on their WTL writing, students shift their focus from ideas to form. In other words, marking errors on WTL pieces distracts students from the main goal--learning.