Friday, 23 February 2018 08:18

832 - W2018 - Case Study Feedback

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Hello 832 Students,

I have compiled the feedback I gave to you. I urge you to take a few minutes to read through. You may find some inspiration by benchmarking your own feedback against that which I gave to other students.

There are two sections. The first section are general comments that I leave at the end of your assignments. 

The second section are in-text comments. Some of these may seem rather obscure because they are taken out of context, but  I think you may still benefit from seeing the nature of my comments, which range from formatting and style, to content. 


Part 1


Paul comments

This is a very interesting paper and I really liked the final section where tou bring relevance to the whole activity by relating the findings to your own practice. That was a very powerful way to conclude. This is a suggestion I will forward to the course writers. It is a great addition to the activity.

You were able to be really concise and yet give a broad range of ideas and go well beyond the expectations of the assignment without going way over the word count. You are at 1159 words which is well within an acceptable excess range. I am impressed with the hard work I know you must have done to reduce this from its original length to this length and still be overflowing with great ideas.

Nicely done!


Paul comments


First, A couple of technical points – I suggest you use headings. These are APA standard and really help to separate out the sections of your paper. This greatly increases readability. Also, you have some long paragraphs – these too are harder to read through, especially when the reader (me) is stopping to make comments or write down notes and then needs to find their place again.

Overall, this was very well organized and I think you gave a clear and concise overview of the studies and approaches therein. Your opening paragraphs were excellent and you really drew out some interesting points by comparing the two studies in the way that you did,

Your suggestions for improvement might be a bit less effective although I can certainly see the appeal of these. In some cases, they seem reasonable suggestions, but you really need to think about the reality of the context and try to find suggestions that do not cost too much or require time (almost the same thing). Ideally, they would be things that are not really changes or additions, but redirections of effort. In that way, resources such as time and money might be redirected and so you would not require more.

Anyway, this might be difficult to think about if you are not familiar with the context (e.g. with trades work in Ontario). Very nice work.


 Paul comments


Thanks for your assignment. I enjoyed reading your work. It was concise and to the point. I think you captured all of the essential information and clearly demonstrated an understanding of the approaches through the examples you provided.

I will note that your writing, while error free might use a bit more editing to remove some repetitive statements and slightly round-about expressions. I note that your word count is over the limit by about 25%. That is not unusual, but you could spend 15 minutes and remove that 25% without losing any content. In fact, this would reveal the content to me more clearly. The best papers are the ones that I don’t have to reread. If you like, I would be happy to do that for you with the first 2-3 pages of this paper as an example.

Your APA formatting might need a bit of a touch up as well. For example, the in-text citations are not entirely correct. At any rate, your work is clear and I think this was a solid effort.


Paul Comments


This is a very interesting and easy to read piece of writing. Well done! You have clearly not only thought carefully about the two case studies and your tasks in writing about them, but you have carefully crafted the writing as well to deliver a very concise and thoughtful assignment.

Your suggestions are insightful and achievable, which is a key point in offering suggestions for improvement. They have to fit the project and actually be possible. It is easy, as you note, to throw money at the projects. However, then the question is, what to do with the money.

Don’t forget to address your introductory statements clearly and directly.


Paul Comments


Hi - you are obviously very passionate about these two studies. They are no doubt very inspiring and motivating. However, I fear in your enthusiasm you may have overlooked some issues. You have touched on some of the issues such as assessment, but then you espouse the other benefits so thoroughly that the issues get lost.

This is quite long at over 1600 words for a 1000-word assignment. I think you could really shorten it by focusing on the academic element. You do mention the approaches, benefits, issues and suggestions, but they are lost somewhat in the effusive descriptions of the projects.

I think you might benefit, for the next assignment to really focus on the question and concentrate your enthusiasm for the projects. This enthusiasm is great, but it has the effect of clouding your own judgment on what to include in your writing. That is why you have gone so far over the word count.


Paul – Comments


This is a wonderful piece of writing. The writing itself is very clear and succinct. However, you have shown great thought and care in putting this together. You clearly have demonstrated a deep understanding the approaches and how to realize them in the classroom. Your suggestions for improvements are grounded, realistic and I can imagine you actually doing some of these changes.

I hope you get to actually try some of these. I think the art approach as a medium of expression, especially for young students, but also for immigrant and ESL students is excellent and very achievable.


Paul Comments


Thanks for this work. I think it has a lot of potential and you have clearly given it a lot of thought. However, my first reaction is that you have written it as a conversation piece perhaps when what is needed here is a concise piece of academic writing. So, you are at about 1750 words for a 1000-word piece.

The problem then becomes that longer pieces of writing have a tendency to repeat themselves and give a lot of detail, which may or may not be supported.

In your case, you have given lots of details, some of which flow logically from your argument, but others which are just sitting there with no basis or support from the surrounding argument.

For your next assignment, you need to try and really organize your writing and your thoughts. This is where a concept map of sorts might be useful. You can then use each paragraph as a thought and then you can compare the thoughts to see of they are coherent, concise, only one or two examples and not repeated.

I was not clear on your point about the approaches. You seem to suggest that connected learning is the overarching approach and that the other approaches you discuss are part of connected learning. This may be perhaps, but I am not sure you have support this argument.


Paul Comments:


You seem to have touched on the relevant points in these studies, but you have done so in a rather round-about way. That tells me that perhaps you are not as familiar with the approaches. Some of your comments as well may indicate that you could read more widely on case studies before selecting these. Alternatively, you need to read more widely to appreciate these two more.

I think your points are all valid but I also think that you could organize this much better to really highlight your points and by doing so, remove some repetition and thus have more of your 1000 words to express your ideas more thoroughly.


Paul Comments


This was a pleasure to read. It was well written, concise and to the point. You were able to highlight a number of excellent key points and ones that were tailored the specific examples.

I also loved your discussions about barriers and suggestions. Combining these around a discussion of the learning approaches instead of the specific case studies was great. You then brought the case studies back in with a discussion of suggestions that ties the approaches to the case studies. This is a wonderful piece of writing!

FYI - as a style point, if you do not indent new paragraphs, you need to add a line space. I prefer this style rather than indenting because it is much easier to read.


Paul – Comments


Thanks for your paper. From a strictly formatting point of view, I think you would do well to reformat and try to find a style that adheres to a more formal style such as APA. The point of these styles guides is to help you prepare paper that is easier to read and easier for you to write.

I think you have two interesting studies, but I do think you have glossed over some of the important pieces and missed an opportunity to really present a coherent comparison of the two and then be able to give solid suggestions that offer better, more holistic approaches to the studies.

You have picked out some highly relevant points and presented them clearly. However, I think you might be able to see and discuss the connections between the two more clearly.


Part 2


  • nice touch to discuss the choice of the studies
  • I would like to know if this is clearly delineated in the documentation. What are these competencies?
  • This term is often used in a negative sense. I am not clear if this is good or bad.
  • Interesting but is it practical? Would they trample the vegetables?
  • This is a nice conclusion, but I think you could shorten some other sections and put a bit more ‘conclusive’ writing into this.
  • Careful of your wording – they are not benefiting from the theory but from the practices enacted through the project. The theory just provides guidelines that help the educators get the most out of their activity.        
  • Great examples – I see the connection to the skills in the previous paragraph, but further clarity might emerge from combining these two paragraphs
  • Ha – money solves a lot of issues.
  • This is a great summary of the programs. I think you have really captured the essence of the programs. I might suggest that you try to bring in the approaches more closely, either in a concluding paragraph, or throughout the section.
  • Nevertheless, this is very clear and quite well done!
  • Absolutely – teachers need help to let go, and often for good reason – the school boards need to give teachers permission to let go a bit.
  • You could combine this with the barriers to provide clear connections between the barriers and sources of improvement, but nevertheless, this is very interesting
  • Art teachers? Aboriginal artists? Immigrant and refugee artists? E.g.,
  • Careful, this might not be true
  • Careful with such exclusive claims
  • Very nice, but this makes me ask about the assessment and focused learning? Who is managing that? These places are just places. Who is giving the focus and guiding inquiry to the activities?
  • I think that at this point, you are repeating or reiterating certain points and so this is where you need to think about reorganizing this paper. You are way over the word count of 1000 words.
  • You have a tendency to use a lot of colloquial expressions. This is fine in discussion boards, but for an academic paper, you need to really cut out idioms and colloquialisms as much as possible.
  • This is all interesting, but I feel you are bouncing around the point, and not quite getting to it. What do you want me to know about this project?
  • Can you elaborate? This is precisely why we take them out of the classroom.
  • Great opening paragraph – concise and very descriptive
  • Wonderful
  • Very much – key point
  • True, but an element of experiential learning is longitudinal – they need to spend time doing this.
  • Very concise!
  • Nice point – this is a behaviourist model as opposed to a cognitive model
  • This is actually much more exciting for students than many teachers realize.
  • Nice idea – they could do drafts in the discussion boards but submit final reflections privately to instructors.
  • This also is valuable feedback to the instructors which is often overlooked. Teachers often do not take advantage of feedback to themselves on how well students learned the content.
  • Are you sure? All schools? I have seen classrooms that do not look like this.
Read 71 times Last modified on Friday, 23 February 2018 10:41
Dr. Paul Leslie

Associate of Taos Institute:

Education is a Community Affair. 

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