To turn the students into good readers of literature and texts in general. To provide them with a qualified knowledge of literary methodologies and theories.
The students often do not read one another's assignments and do not consider each other's criticism to be usable. In addition, and just as importantly, it can facilitate the work of the lecturer with regard to correcting written exercises in the middle of a semester.
I set an assignment in which the students must carry out an analysis of a literary text - the same text for everyone.
Before they begin writing the assignment they meet one another to discuss the text in groups. They submit the text to one another in the groups, after which they, via discussion, find out which of the written exercises is to be "passed on" to me, the lecturer. This means that I ultimately only receive one assignment per group and not 30 assignments in total. Everyone does, however, submit their written exercises in the same folder, so that you as lecturer can check that everyone submits. All the members of the class can read the exercises in the folder.
I correct the 7-8 written exercises that I receive and use these as the basis for feedback to the whole class. Everyone reads these assignments before we go through them together in the lesson.
Before their discussion about which assignments should be “passed on” to the lecturer, it can be a good idea to introduce the students to which criteria you as a lecturer emphasise and furthermore, how to provide good, critical and constructive feedback to one another.
Partly to save time in relation to correcting written exercises, and partly to make the students aware of the resources that they themselves mutually comprise. The effect is that the students become better to collaborate and less bashful in relation to allowing others to read their written assignments.
The students also become aware of their own criteria for a good assignment in relation to the lecturer's criteria, and thus more aware of what is expected of them as students.