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Critique Notebooks

What is a Critique Notebook?

A notebook dedicated to critique notes that the student brings to every class. Instructors may collect and comment in them from time to time. Variation: Students may also give their notebooks to another student to take notes during his or her own critique.

Why use a Critique Notebook?

The notebook provides documentation of the student’s process and growth that the instructor can observe and evaluate if necessary. It reinforces the idea that information and feedback in the critique needs to be incorporated into subsequent revisions of a project or later assignments.

How to Use a Critique Notebook:

The instructor selects the headings for student notebooks. Here are a few examples:

  • What was done well?
     
  • What needs to be improved?
     
  • What are my next steps for this work?
     
  • Which comments did/didn’t I incorporate and why?
     
  • New ideas for my work based on others’ critiques

The instructor selects a prompt for a 3-10 minute silent writing assignment before or after the critique. The prompt should help students prepare for a critique, or synthesize information and feedback from a particular lesson.

Possible Critique Notebook Prompts:

  1. What are the most important things you learned from today’s critique? (Especially good for when students have been listening to others’ critiques).
     
  2. In what area have you improved the most since the beginning of the semester?
     
  3. What is the most frustrating aspect of the work you are doing for this course right now?
Using Critique Notebooks