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Peer assessment and peer review

March 8, 2012

Faculty discussed how students participate in peer review -  analyzing and evaluating each other's work.  We saw how tools such as clickers, peer-review web sites (SWORD), and online surveys can support the peer review process.  

Students in Daniel Margócsy's hybrid class use a tool called SWORD to get feedback from other students in the class.  Each student is responsible for reviewing 4 - 5 of their peers' papers.  SWORD allows the instructor to create comment prompts and rubrics for rating papers. Reviews are anonymous for students, but the instructor can see who wrote each review.  Students in the class enjoyed the activity and benefitted from seeing how other students write.

Students in Manuel C. Co Jr.'s class used Survey Monkey to assess each other's in-class presentations.  Class was held in a computer lab, so students were able to enter their feedback immediately.  Students also evaluated their own presentations.  Students were given two prompts: "Did well on..." and "Could improve on..." Manuel observed that many students incorporated the feedback they received in subsequent presentations. Manuel also found that the surveys gave him insight into what students want to see in presentations.

Students in Karen Phillips's large organic chemistry class also evaluated each other's presentations, in this case using clickers.  Students in the class work in small groups to investigate real-world issues related to organic chemistry.  This collaborative activity helps students feel empowered in their own learning and creates a more congenial atmosphere that is not just focused on exams.  At the end of the semester, students present their findings to the class.  Students use a rubric provided by Karen to grade all the presentations except their own. Students use clickers in the self-paced student mode to enter their scores on each criterion in the rubric.  The clicker software averages the scores, and Karen gives a report to each group of students.