Peer review—the process of engaging students in providing feedback on each other’s work—is one of the most productive practices for courses that integrate any form of writing. While receiving useful feedback from their peers, students discover how others approach writing tasks. In doing so, students learn how to give, receive, and integrate feedback—skills that are vital in most college courses and in the workplace. In addition, peer review helps to foster community among students in both face-to-face and online courses. Despite the proven benefits of peer review, many instructors avoid the practice because they aren’t sure how to integrate these activities into their courses or how to grade the peer reviews. Moreover, many instructors and students have had negative experiences with peer review. In order to ensure that you and your students will have a successful peer review experience, I recommend that you:
- explain the benefits of peer review to your students;
- count peer reviews substantially in the course grade and grade the peer reviews using a rubric;
- provide detailed instructions and prompts to students;
- allow students to practice before they are graded on their peer reviews;
- have students review 2-3 of their peers’ papers during each round;
- integrate several rounds of peer review into your course;
- give students ample time to complete peer reviews;
- have students craft revision plans describing what they will do with feedback from their peers and from you;
- allow students an opportunity to reflect on the peer review process; and
- if you are facilitating peer review through Canvas, be sure that you are familiar with the Canvas Peer Review tools.
Would you like to find out more? Please join us on Friday, November 5, 10:30am-12pm for a webinar on “Implementing Successful Peer Review Practices.” Megan Hansen Connolly, Lecturer of Second Language Studies and 2021-2022 Faculty Liaison for the Campus Writing Program, will guide participants to successfully integrate peer review into courses of all disciplines, including how to support multilingual writers and how to conduct peer review in Canvas.
Professor Connolly’s webinar will be followed by a coffee talk on “Creating the Conditions for Success: Implementing In-Class Peer Review for All Levels of Learning” on Tuesday, November 16, 10:00-10:50 am, led by James Brown, Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. Professor Brown will provide an overview of the peer review processes that he employs in his 400-level course.
For more information about peer review, please see the Teaching Resources on the Writing Tutorial Services (WTS) website. For a consultation about integrating peer review into your course, contact John Paul Kanwit at email@example.com. If you would like to talk with an Instructional Technology Consultant about using Canvas for peer review, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.