I really liked this thought. My class focuses on creative expression, so I give my students a writing notebook assignment that lasts the entire semester. They write whatever they want. I take these up periodically to make sure that they are keeping up with the assignment, to check to see they are doing it corectly and to comment on their writing.
It has become a sort of conversation between the students and myself. The assignment surprised me. It has allowed them to "talk" or "vent" about things (which that they so need to do). It has allowed them to take creative risks with writing they may not otherwise take the time to try. It has allowed me to really get to know my students better.
But the most surprising thing about it was their response to it. I had no idea that they would care so much about my responses. The day after taking them up they would come back into class asking if I was done grading them. Several would ask me regularly if I had commented on them. If I had to say, "not yet," there were groans...!! They value feedback and validation in their work and their thoughts. How much more meaningful would it be to get that feedback with ideas they presented to their classmates?
It truly is a powerful thing to watch and be a part of.