Evidence Locker is a tool for undergraduate literature and writing-heavy courses. It offers a guided reading process by providing more immediate feedback to to them about their interpretations. First, the instructor identifies a set of themes relevant to the text. Then, each student reads through the text and highlights passages that they believe demonstrate those themes. The student then writes a short essay explaining how they those passages relate to those themes. Finally, the student submits these passages for peer review, and receives quick feedback from other students.
We hope that Evidence Locker will be a useful tool for teaching critical reading and writing. By focusing on one specific aspect of developing an argument, it allows students to receive feedback sooner and enables them to practice close reading more. It also includes every student equally, even those who do not generally contribute to classroom discussion.
Dave Shepard developed the idea for Evidence Locker in consultation with Allison Hegel, Chris Mott, and Craig Messner in the UCLA Department of English. Hegel piloted the method in an English 4W course in Winter 2016. Development is funded through a CCLE IDP grant in the Spring 2016 cycle. Messner and Shepard worked together to pilot the tool in a Fall 2016 English 4W course. Shepard is currently working to deploy the tool in new courses.