Online Research Mixer

Online Research Mixer

Overview of the activity: Instructors designed an online workshop (research mixer) between freshmen composition students at Stanford University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The session lasts for 60 minutes including the introduction, peer-reviewing, and closing remarks. During the session, students will get the opportunity to introduce their research projects and provide and receive feedback on their drafts. 

Activity title: Online Research Mixer.

Author(s): Dr. Samah Elbelazi (Stanford University) and Lama Alharbi (Indiana University of Pennsylvania).

Course: PWR 1, PWR2

Activity length and schedule: 60 minutes, Week 8-9 (RBA).

Activity goals:

  • Provide an outside audience for students at both universities.
  • Practice cultural rhetoric by sharing thoughts from two different states and institutions.
  • Provide students with feedback from students who are not in their class.
  • Empower students through facilitating their voices and make their research visible at other institutions.
  • Engage students in a socializing practice of writing.

Activity details:


  • Reserve a video-conferencing room if possible. 
  • Install Zoom and get a microphone to insure good sound quality.
  • Feedback form handout.


  • Explain the session prior to the mixer and ask students to prepare and practice a 2-minutes introduction about who they are and what research project they are working on.
  • Ask students to give their consent to share their drafts and recording with other students, with the option to remove their names before sharing their drafts.
  • Collect the first 2 pages of students’ drafts, which usually include the introduction, thesis statement, and research question(s). 
  • Create a sharing folder in Google Drive, that has mini-folders for each pair with their drafts.
  • Remove students’ names and upload the anonymous drafts to the Google Drive folder.
  • Give students numbers according to the folder number where their drafts are.
  • Share the folder link via D2L/Canvas.


Introduction (15 minutes):

  1. Instructors welcome students on the other side of the screen.
  2. Students on both sides introduce themselves and their research projects.  
  3. Students will find their names paired with other students from Stanford. They will also find emails to exchange their two-page drafts from their research projects.

Online Feedback Session (20 minutes):

  1. Once the students find their group folder, instructors share the feedback handout with their students.
  2. By using the instructions on the handout, students will respond to each other’s drafts by using the comment feature in Google Doc.
  3. Instructors move around and facilitate students’ work.

Class Discussion (15 minutes):

  • Put students in small groups.
  • Students in each group share what they liked about the other students’ drafts and what suggestions they may have.
  • What are the major takeaways from this experience? 

Wrapping up

  • Instructors thank students for their willingness to participate and give feedback to the other students.


  • All students who participated in this session write a 1-page reflection about the experience. This page may later be shared with the other students.