This is a method I devised several years ago, right after we implemented google apps in our school. I have my students write and share their essays in google docs. In addition to messages, I highlight various errors in a color coded system. Using the color coding gives the students guidance, yet prompts them to reflect on their writing to find the errors. The code I use is this:
Purple: Word Choice
The students must use the hints to find their errors, correct them, and remove the color code. If needed, I will assist them in finding the error, but they must try themselves first. Most are able to see the error with the guidance of the colors. This is a more rigorous task than simply correcting the errors I point out.
I adjust this system according to the student's level. For example, if a student is really weak in writing, I might concentrate on red and yellow only for the first round of revisions. Stronger students will get the full color scheme and revision task.
Because this method is time consuming, and sometimes requires two (or more!) revision sessions, I generally make the finished copy a test grade. I have also found it is better to assign less writing tasks to focus on quality. My students have made great progress using google docs for revisions.
Is anyone else using a method similar to this? How has it worked for you?