Whilst peer review is a highly valued process (by students and facilitators alike) there is a danger of a contradiction occurring between this process and the original patchwork vision that the review seeks to serve. Winter’s original view was that peer review should help to refine understanding, that it should enable students to ‘come to know’ and to grow through their apprenticeship in their field, in effect the patch should represent a learning journey and should not claim mastery. It is also well charted that students are mainly highly motivated to develop their assessment products and that assessment is highly valued. The contradiction occurs because students have sometimes, in the experience of the BA LTR facilitation team, seen the perfection of the patch as the greatest priority, sometimes over and above the gains of learning. The mindset that sets the patch as perfection can be evidenced in the community; students post a draft, then a re-draft then more drafts for feedback. Ways in which this is being dealt with in practice include the limitation of facilitator review and the prioritisation of attention to dialogue around issues and concepts. Whilst the online community enables feedback at the convenience of the participants, it also means that feedback can be sought at will, a balance between the influencing forces of assessment and learning, mastery and apprenticeship, needs to be managed.
Emerging from recently collected data and the emerging analysis is a portrait of some of the benefits of operating a digital and media rich version of Winter’s patchwork text approach.