Have you ever struggled with how to structure and administer peer review activities in your course?
ELI Review published an excellent feature article (Designing Effective Reviews) on designing effective peer review activities, backed up with research and voices from instructors.
Though ELI Review promotes their own peer review tool in this article, most of the faculty experiences and advice are largely tool-agnostic.
Common timeline for writing projects:
Feedback-centric timeline for writing projects:
An multi-iteration process like the one shown in the second timeline can provide a feedback-rich environment for students to both improve their writing and review skills, but extensive numbers of reviews can easily seem burdensome and intimidating to instructors and students. Happily, the article also notes a few ways to reduce this burden:
Review Smaller Texts
This structure can allow writers and reviewers to build their skills while focusing on small, comprehensible pieces of a larger work:
Multiple Reviews of the Same Text
This structure is built around reviewing the same text through different lenses, to reduce overall cognitive load on the reviewer for each iteration:
How do you structure your peer review activities? What obstacles have you found between you and your ideal peer review structure? Have you ever considered only grading based on the quality of reviews, not the original written work?
Note: ELI Review is a commercial Web-based tool for students to receive structured feedback from their peers on specific pieces of written work.
Tools suited to peer review tasks currently supported at UMass Amherst include:
If you are already using ELI Review in your course, or if you plan to use it, we’d be interested in hearing about your experiences at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Nick Carbone for originally bringing this feature article to my attention.