Evidence Locker is a web tool for teaching close reading in undergraduate literature courses. Under development at CDH, it provides a guided reading process for students who have difficulty understanding a text 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, highlights passages that they believe are related to those themes, and writes a short essay explaining how they understand those passages. Finally, the student submits these passages for peer review, and receives quick feedback from other students (as well as the instructor).
We hope that Evidence Locker will be a useful tool for teachers of critical reading and writing. By focusing on one specific aspect of developing an argument, it should shorten the time that students wait to receive feedback and enable more effective practice of that skill. It should also include every student equally, even those who do not generally contribute to classroom discussion
The idea for Evidence Locker was developed by Dave Shepard at CDH 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. Now, Shepard, Messner, and Dr. Claire Lavagnino are working with Shawn Higgins, a CDH web designer, to refine the application design based on UX principles.