Why would I do this?

Establishing the experts teams as consultants gives me more time to interact with students on higher-order writing concerns in class rather than focusing on surface errors.

Do the students make fewer editing errors?
Does their writing greatly improve because of their collaboration?

I have no statistical evidence from my own classrooms to show that they make fewer errors and I have no control groups nor bases to compare the learning results to since this is not my intention.  I can't prove that they learn more or better because they become the experts as I have no way of measuring what they might not have learned had I done things differently.  The overall class GPA would tell very little since class GPAs tend to fluctuate widely for a variety of reasons. I base my assumptions of the effectiveness of such learner-centered pedagogy on the huge volume of extant research on learning and retention, on my own experiences as a teacher, and on what seems to me to be common sense.   

Research on the most effective methods of learning*

My goal is to move learning from the 5% retention rates of lecture alone, toward the 90% retention rates achievable by immediate use or "teaching others," the most effective means of retaining material learned.


*Research on learning and retention of information from the National Training Laboratories, Bethel Maine

learning pyramid


Below are links to some of the English 111 students’ experts projects from recent semesters.

Experts Teams Sample Projects:

How would you adapt this strategy to your classroom?

To your on-line classes?

To your BlackBoard site ?


Rick Dollieslager, Ass't. Professor of English
Thomas Nelson Community College
P.O. Box 9407, Hampton, Virginia 23670
Phone:  757/825-3543   Fax: 757/825-3842
Chairman, VCCS Tidewater Regional Center for Teaching Excellence