MMU Good Practice Exchange


Diagnostic Writing Exercise

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Project Details

Dr Stephen Berwind, Senior Lecturer in Drama, introduces the Diagnostic Writing Exercise used in the unit ‘Texts, Contexts and Histories 1’. For this formative task, level 4 students complete a 500 word essay in the middle of their first term. It is designed to enable tutors to identify student’s strengths and areas for further development at an early stage in the academic year and to provide feedback before a student hands in any summative work.  Importantly, it is tool for tutors to signpost students to the appropriate services and support available. For example, if a student’s work makes basic errors in sentence construction or grammar, they are referred to The Writing Project.

Personalised Support
The Diagnostic Writing Exercise is supported by tutorial before and after submission. Student’s work is hand annotated with feedback with particular attention paid to grammar and spelling. They also receive a summary of the feedback. Common issues among a cohort are raised in seminar time. Students have the opportunity to meet with their tutor to discuss their work and their support needs.

Why use a Diagnostic Writing Exercise?
The benefits of using the Diagnostic Writing Exercise include early diagnosis of each students academic support needs. This results in improved progression into the second year. The personalised support and feedback students receive also improves students' confidence with regard to written assessments.

Contact Details:

Dr Stephen Berwind
Contemporary Arts

Related UTA resources:

Personal Tutoring

Peer Support for Student Success

Induction & Transition

Progression and Retention