Peer Review Using peerScholar

“peerScholar is an evidence-based peer assessment platform that supports the development of core transferable skills like critical thought, creative thought, and effective communication.”

Steve Joordens – peerScholar

Peer review and peer assessment platforms, such as peerScholar, provide an avenue for students to think critically and communicate with others. They also provide instructors with an opportunity to help students to learn effectively from the feedback process.

peerScholar makes peer review activities easy to set up, implement, and grade!

Peer Review Phases in peerScholar

Phase One

Students create and submit a digital composition (text, audio, video, images etc.) for their peers to review and provide feedback.

Phase Two

Students assess their peers’ work via a thorough review. Reviewers use their critical thinking skills during the review and provide constructive feedback to help their peers improve their work.

Phase Three

Students reflect critically on the feedback that they receive from their peers and determine how they will use it to improve their work. Resubmitting a revised assignment for the instructor to review is an optional part of this phase.

NOTE: ‘Create‘, ‘Assess‘, and ‘Reflect‘ are the names for each phase of the peer review process in peerScholar. The names for each step or phase may vary from platform to platform.

Creating a peerScholar Assignment in Brightspace

peerScholar is fully integrated with your Brightspace course site. You can set up a link in the course content that will launch peerScholar and open the associated activity. When students log in to their Brightspace course, they will click the link, peerScholar will launch, and they will be brought directly into the active phase of the activity. Integration also syncs the Brightspace and peerScholar classlist and the grade book.

The process of creating a peerScholar activity involves the following steps:

  1. Integrating with your Brightspace course. A link to the peerScholar activity is set up directly in the course content. Clicking the link launches peerScholar and opens the associated activity.
  1. Configuring the peerScholar Activity. The first time you click the peerScholar link from the course (see above), you will launch peerScholar and open the associated activity. At minimum, you can choose the type of activity that you want to use and you can name the activity. You can also configure the phases of the activity, set due dates and times, and customize grading. Make changes to the initial configuration by editing the activity.
  1. Facilitating a peerScholar Activity. With your peer review assignment in progress, student participation in the various phases will drive the activity, but the instructor will need to facilitate and manage the activity. peerScholar provides ample tools to enable instructors to do this effectively.
  1. Customizing Grading. Instructors can customize the grading for each peer review activity in peerScholar. Much of the grading, once it is setup in peerScholar, can be automated, making it easy to grade an assignment.

Grading Tools

peerScholar provides many tools for grading including:

  • A suite of assessment types for peer assessors, instructors, and TA’s
  • A grading area for instructors
  • A gradebook
  • Avenues to include peer ratings
  • Avenues to assign participation marks

See also Grading.

Information for Students

In addition to setting up the link to peerScholar in your Brightspace course shell, instructors can provide information about peer review and peerScholar in the course content. See Creating a Peer Review Assignment on the Instructional Resources website.