This action research project confirmed that peer correction technique helps students overcome difficulties in their writing process. Collaborative work in terms of peer correction is a way for students to learn from their mistakes, correcting and being corrected by their friends, learning from their ideas and justifications because of mutual trust, sense of support, belonging and membership.
Additionally, this study demonstrated that technology is a tool teachers can use to develop collaborative work in the classroom and make the students improve their informal writing. Through the project the students learned to work autonomously not only to produce their informal letters but also to peer correct their friends
Another aspect was collaborative work in terms of peer correction that was present all the time. The students showed interest to correct their friends and accept the corrections with a gentle attitude, never complaining but being polite while they were online.
To sum up, the study group students improved their informal writing substantially by working peer correction as a technique in the classrooms and giving the students a tool to motivate them to keep correcting their classmates. They recognized that they learned from their mistakes, especially if suggestions were coming from a friend and from the teacher whose role was that of a guide working with them, monitoring them and helping them whenever it was necessary.
In addition, this project confirmed that if we give the students a variety of activities, use technology in the classroom and have an appropriate guidance about peer correcting their classmates, they will write more effectively in their attempt to exchange communication.
Peer correction technique is an excellent way for the students to improve their written production. However, it is recommended to train students on how to peer correct their friends and especially to let them know the type of mistakes they have to focus on.
Moreover, the students need to have a training class. In this session they learn how to send and receive e-mail letters in order to give peer correction feedback to their friends and make sure that all the students participate without claiming lack of this knowledge or skill.
Another aspect to consider is working the e-mailing activity at school. Some students showed reluctance when doing the last activities because they did not like homework assignments too much and peer correction was just one more assignment for them. To assure students’ acceptance to do all the activities, it is suggested that this project be done largely at school.
Working on this project gave the students the possibility to use technology through the school’s web platform in order to have communication among them, receive feedback and learn from their mistakes about informal writing and structuring paragraphs.
However, there are some important reflections to take into account for the second cycle of this action research project. First, it is relevant to consider that all the students have access to Internet because some of the students participating in the project did not have this service in the area where they lived. This situation made it difficult for them to participate on time and use technology as a meaningful tool. Second, some students were usually alone at home; they were really autonomous for taking time and working responsibly on the activities they needed to write, correct and send back. Third, some students were not able to work on the activities on time because they did not have their own passwords; they forgot theirs and only had their parents’.
To overcome these problems and be more successful, I recommend that the school sets a computer’s room for the project where the teacher can plan her classes, especially the first session when the teacher needs to explain the methodology of the project and the way the students will send, receive and answer their e-mails. Similarly, the teacher should also know the students’ passwords to provide them with their codes in case they either forget or lose them.
The improvement in the students’ informal writing was remarkable because at the end of the project, they produced paragraphs taking into account their rhetorical structure. Their ideas were expressed in a coherent way and they followed the appropriate layout for informal letters.
Further research studies need to be pointed on developing peer correction only online. It is suggested to work this project only in the computer room at school in order to encourage students more in the use of technology. The next step could be the implementation of peer correction using a wiki, a blog or another tool for the students and the teachers to explore.