Marking and amending summaries


It seems like different moderators (and other frequent contributors) have their own styles when it comes to how to give our users advice on how to improve their writing. Alan, for one, writes his suggestions in capital letters in the text, while Amy chooses to make corrections using a different colour in the original text. Should we agree upon a certain “house-style” when it comes to corrections?

Hi Englishuser,

You have brought up an interesting question. I think it is perfectly OK to use different approaches here as every user’s needs are individual too.

For example, a user like Dark Magician needs a certain type of feedback while TOEFL prep candidates require another response.

Also, I want every moderator to be comfortable with the way they amend or mark users’ texts. Alan has used the capital letter method for quite a while and he has become very efficient at using it.

I also like the way Amy amended Heike’s (Lissy’s) first summary yesterday and I think it would be best if either you or Amy could amend Lissy’s latest entry in the same fashion.

Amending texts and essays on the forum is a process and we are developing our own ‘in-house style’, as you call it, by working with our users and collecting feedback from them.

Regards and thanks again for your great support.

TOEIC short conversations: New colleague[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

I’m terribly sorry for starting this project so slowly. It just happens to be the 4th of July which means that there will be some changes in most people’s schedules in the US. And I wouldn’t like to post anything clumsy in the 30 Day Challenge-thread, so I think I had better do it when I’m more alert and have the time it takes to do it properly.

Hi Englishuser,

Could you please tell us more about how Americans were celebrating Independence Day yesterday? As for amending users’ summaries, I have spoken to Amy and she is willing to do some of the correction work. I will also talk to your other moderators to see how we can organize this part of the project.

What do you think on this?


TOEIC short conversations: Delivering an agreement[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

I’m very glad to hear that you’ve asked Amy as well as other moderators to amend users’ summaries. As I see it, any moderator who happens to be on the site could amend summaries. I’ll start doing it myself soon, I just need to decide how I should deal with some technical obstacles first. I’ll probably need to try different strategies.

I’ve now submitted a summary on my listening expriences for the first time, and will do my utmost to do so every day so as to set a good role-model for our users.


I agreed to help out. Please do not confuse “help” with “relieve Englishuser of this responsibility.”

Let’s just hope this doesn’t take longer than 30 days.

Englishuser, you seem to be confused about the roles.


Hi Amy,

I guess what we are seeing now is what might be called group dynamics and it’s all a question of communicating one’s interests. The 30/30 Challenge is a project various target groups can benefit from.

Now, you have been such an invaluable asset to our community. A lot of users have said how much progress they have been making because of you. I was visiting my parents over Easter when Slava called me telling me excitedly that we ‘have’ a new user who is an American business English trainer living in Germany.

Now, Englishuser is our newest moderator and just like you, Conchita, Jamie (K), Mister Micawber, and of course Alan, Englishuser has been giving a lot without asking for compensation first. Most people ask what they will get and only then they would give something. What does all of this have to do with the current question as to who will amend our users’ summaries?

Well, as I said earlier, it all comes down to speaking about interests. In other words, why are we doing the things we do? Why has Englishuser started to post their own summaries? What impact will this have on our users’ activities? I’m sure it will help them do a better job, it will give them more self-confidence and they will feel the team spirit. So, the question here should be why should a moderator amend the 30/30 summaries? There might be a number of reasons:

  • you gain 'elearning experience' (more and more companies want English trainers who have elearning skills)
  • you advertise your services directly (this forum is being read by all kinds of people some of whom might be your next clients)
  • you get direct feedback from learners

    I am working with a group of 25 PC-Ware employees and they all know about project. One accountant purchased 2 audio books through Amazon with a total of 12 CD’s. She started listening to the first book a week ago. She listens to the CD’s for about 90 minutes every day (on her way to and from work). Yesterday I sent the group an email containing the link to our 30/30 Challenge.

    I know that the potential of this project is huge because everyone involved can benefit from it. It is a challenge for everyone – for the users as well as the moderators (the coaches, trainers, teachers and consultants). If Englishuser takes on two roles then that’s great.

    Please let me know what you think of all this.

    TOEFL listening lectures: A university lecture by a professor of History (2)[YSaerTTEW443543]

  • Hi Torsten

    I also see the great value and potential in your project. And, clearly, support is necessary to be able to run it effectively and make the most of it. But if, for example, wondering how to make parts of a text red instead of black is a primary project worry and prevents learner reports from being corrected, well, that just seems to be missing the whole point of the project.

    What do I think?
    Unlike Englishuser, I never requested any information about becoming a moderator nor did I ask to become one. I’d have been perfectly happy to remain just a “regular member” who happens to be a native speaker with many years of ESL teaching experience and who is willing to answer questions.

    I’m willing to help out if I can, but, as you know, I am also reluctant to participate in areas where I feel I don’t have adequate experience (the SAT forum, for example). I don’t like having announcements made to the effect that I will be overseeing things that I don’t feel I can do adequately – as happened with the SAT forum. There are other moderators here who clearly have more knowledge about the SAT. As I said, I’m willing to help if I can, but I know my limits.

    I’d be interested in knowing how the team effort on the part of moderators is going to work for your 30-Day Challenge. Is it going to amount to Torsten sending constant PMs to one or two moderators telling them to do something every time something needs doing? Or will Englishuser decide to become active and communicative in this respect and enlist and coordinate support?

    I might add that sending such repeated PMs to a forum member who has regularly done as much as possible voluntarily and who did not ask to be a moderator is a bit insulting. It feels like kindergarten. Why not just say, Amy could you take over the corrections for User X’s reports for this 30-Day period, then allow Amy to say yes or no, and then be done with it?

    I will ammend Heike’s report from today, but it will be a little later. I’m taking my cue from Englishuser.

    Hi Amy,

    I don’t.

    It won’t take that long.

    I think that the question of how learner reports should be marked is relevant. Unless I can use different colours efficiently, the only way to correct learner reports will be to rewrite the entire text. It works, but might be a bad idea as it makes it more difficult for people to see what changes I’ve made. That’s why I’m trying to learn how to use different colours without getting confused myself. I might also try using capital letters like Alan.

    I don’t think so. Torsten has asked me to post a summary of my listening experiences every single day, and I’ve agreed upon doing it. I personally think it’s a good idea if a moderator participates in the challenge as well. Alan has also submitted essay samples so as to set a role model for our users.

    Do you think that it’s wrong to request information about how you can become a moderator? I don’t. I think that a question like that could be found, together with an answer, in the FAQ-section of a webpage. I’ve never asked to be a moderator myself, it was Torsten’s suggestion. Torsten could have told me that you need to have at least 500 posts and a Ph.D. so as to become a moderator, and I would have accepted that. I would not have agreed upon becoming a moderator had Torsten listed criteria that I do not meet. However, I do think that I meet the existing criteria for forum-moderators on this website. You may or may not agree.

    Please keep in mind that I’m a new moderator over here. The role of a moderator depends hugely on the website. Here moderators are supposed to be very active, and therefore I’ll do my best to post as many helpful messages as possible. Also keep in mind that I’ve received no training in moderating the forum, so it seems like I’ll have to teach myself. I’d be very happy about any tips you as a senior moderator might have regarding moderating a forum more efficiently. And I hope that you appreciate that I’ve started many intriguing discussions especially in the “What do you want to talk about?”-forum. Many of the discussions I’ve started or participated in have been very popular, lately also amongst regular users.

    Hi Englishuser and Amy,

    As you can see we are all learning from each other. So let’s see if we can pull together and concentrate on our users. Englishuser, please use the pull-down-menu on top of the message window to change the [color=blue]colour of text passages.

    Alternatively, you can use HTML tags as you might be already doing with the quote function. For example, if you want to mark your text blue, simpy use these two brackets:

    [color= blue]this text will be blue. (the text will really be blue, if you use [color=blue] (no space after the word ‘blue’).

    Please let me know if this makes sense. Also, we have decide who of the moderators will be amending whose reports. As of now we have three active users:

    • Mba
    • Lissy (Heike)
    • Katrin (who has posted her first report a few minutes ago.

    Amy, you have agreed to amend Heike’s reports, thanks for that. Englishuser, can you amend Katrin’s reports and I will take of Mba’s reports?

    We will work out a system over the next days.


    TOEFL listening lectures: An organism that generates internal heat is called what?[YSaerTTEW443543]


    I haven’t received any moderator training or information, either, and didn’t even know I was one until the word appeared under my name one day not very long ago. So, I’m afraid I can’t give you any moderator tips.



    Unfortunately using HTML tags is quite clumsy. I’ll try to use the pull-down-menu instead.

    OK, I’ll amend Katrin’s report(s).

    This really surprises me. Perhaps Torsten could give us all some moderator training when he’s free.